• Apple tarte tatin with crème diplomat (The Chefs' Line)

Served with our favourite side: the diplomat cream, which is a luscious mixture of creme patisserie folded through the softly whipped cream. The Chefs' Line






Skill level

Average: 4.4 (11 votes)


Crème diplomat

  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 1 whole egg
  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 30 g cornflour
  • 30 g unsalted butter
  • 100 ml pure cream



  • 240 g plain flour
  • 20 g caster sugar
  • 5 g active dry yeast
  • 5 g salt
  • 165 g unsalted butter, shaped into a 10 cm square, slightly softened
  • 140 g demerara sugar


Caramelised apples

  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 3 medium granny smith apples, peeled and halved, core removed

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: 1 hr

For the crème diplomat, place the milk and vanilla bean in a saucepan over low heat until hot but not boiling. Whisk the egg, sugar and cornflour in a bowl until smooth. Whisking continuously, gradually add the hot milk and whisk until well combined. Strain the milk through a fine strainer, return to the pan and stir over low heat until the mixture is thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.
Pour the mixture into a tray, cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, then refrigerate until cold. Just before serving, beat the cream until soft peaks form, then fold through the custard.

Meanwhile, for the pastry, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 145 ml water and combine until a dough comes together. Shape into a rough square, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you caramelise the apples.

For the caramelised apples, place the sugar and 185 ml (¾ cup) water in a frying pan and cook over high heat until it starts to caramelise. Add the butter and swirl to combine until the caramel is a golden amber colour. Remove from the heat, add the apple halves and stir until evenly coated in caramel. Spray 6 metal moulds (about 375 ml capacity) with oil. Divide most of the caramel between the moulds, then place an apple half in each mould with the core facing upwards. Reserve the remaining caramel for serving.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C.

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 15 cm square. Place the square of butter in the centre of the dough and enclose the dough around the butter. Roll out into a 10 cm x 20 cm rectangle and sprinkle evenly with one third of the demerara sugar. Fold the outside edges into the centre, creating a ‘pamphlet fold’ and keeping the sugar in the middle. Turn the pastry 90 degrees, then repeat the rolling and folding two more times using up the demerara sugar. If the butter is getting too soft to work with, then refrigerate the pastry until the butter is firm but not hard.

Once the rolling and folding process is complete, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until 1 ½ cm-thick. Using a pastry cutter, stamp out six circles the same size as the moulds. Place the pastry on top of the apples in each of the moulds, tucking the pastry gently in around the edges like tucking in a blanket. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp.

To serve, invert the moulds onto serving plates. Drizzle the reserved caramel around the tarte tatin and serve with a quenelle of diplomat crème.


This recipe is from Series 2 of The Chefs' Line airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Episodes will be available after broadcast via SBS On Demand. Join the conversation #TheChefsLine on Instagram @sbsfood, Facebook @SBSFood  and Twitter @SBS_Food. Check out sbs.com.au/thechefsline for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more!