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Apple tatin with Lapsang Souchong Caramel, spicy cream, and coconut sorbet by Eunji Lee

April 13, 2023
Apple tatin with Lapsang Souchong Caramel, spicy cream, and coconut sorbet by Eunji Lee
Caramel apple tatin, maple feuilletage, coconut sorbet, Lapsang Souchong caramel, caramel syrup, spicy cream


Eunji Lee is one of the most successful Korean pastry chefs whose career continues to rise. Raised in France, she currently lives in New York where she has worked at New York’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant Jungsik and has been honored as a Rising Star Pastry Chef. In 2022, she fulfilled her all-time dream by opening her own patisserie boutique, Lysée.

Her great professional career is reflected in her first book, Plating Dessert, available in our online bookstore Books For Chefs. Throughout its almost 200 pages, the book includes exclusive recipes, as well as the meaning behind the design of each plate and this chef’s philosophy.

Below we share one of the recipes from the book, a reinterpreted Apple tatin. This is how Lee explains the creation process:

‘Tart Tatin is one of my favorite French desserts. I wanted to reinterpret it in my own way one day to make it new, and I did get to make it using apples that are in season in fall. It’s common to cut apples into big pieces for apple tatin, but I wanted to give it a more special shape. So, I came up with the idea of slicing apples thinly and rolling them up like a roll of tissue in order to create something soft and yet have a special texture by stacking them in many thin layers. I wanted to create a smoky flavor that goes well with the autumn apples, but I wanted to give it an indirect scent rather than directly, so I made caramel using Lapsang Souchong. (Lapsang Souchong tea leaves are placed on a smoked pine tree to dry; therefore, the smoky aroma is quite strong.) Apple is an ingredient that goes well with various spices, but while I was looking around the food ingredient warehouse wanting to use Korean spice, I found the fine red pepper powder from Korea and thought this was it. I thought adding a little bit of spiciness to the sweet apple would be fun, so I mixed the red pepper powder with crème fraîche, which is a perfect pair with tart tatin. Originally, feuilletage dough and apples are baked together in an oven to make tart tatin. But, for this dessert, I baked the dough and apples separately to preserve the crisp and flaky texture of the feuilletage. Feuilletage dough is baked over maple syrup and sugar, so that you can enjoy the caramel flavor even more. When eaten together, the smoky caramel, warm apple tatin as if it’s just out of the oven, and cold coconut sorbet goes well together, and you can feel a hint of spiciness at the end’.

Apple tatin

For ten servings

Caramel apple tatin

  • 160 g sugar
  • 85 g butter
  • 1/4 vanilla bean
  • Zest 2 lemons
  • Zest 2 oranges
  • 10 u apples

Add sugar to a pot and caramelize while stirring with a spatula. Stir in butter, vanilla bean, lemon zest, and orange zest. Once the butter is melted, remove from heat to cool and strain to use. Thinly slice peeled apples with a mandoline slicer. Roll the sliced apples until it is about 6 cm in diameter. To ensure the apples do not unroll during baking and are finished beautifully, it’s best to roll them as tightly as possible without any gaps. Cut the rolled apples to 2 cm in height. Pour 25 grams of 3 into 6 cm diameter round molds. Insert rolled and cut apples in the molds, then place in the order of Silpat – baking tray on top, and put in the oven. Bake in the oven preheated to 170°C for 40 minutes, rotate the baking tray, and bake for another 40 minutes. It should be baked with the tray on top to retain its shape.

Maple feuilletage

  • 280 g all-purpose flourApple tatin with Lapsang Souchong Caramel, spicy cream, and coconut sorbet by Eunji Lee
  • 5 g salt
  • 45 gmelted butter
  • 150 g water
  • 0,3 g vanilla powder
  • 165 g butter sheet
  • q.s. Maple syrup
  • q.s.Maple sugar

Mix all-purpose flour, salt, melted butter, water, and vanilla powder in a mixing bowl until the dough comes together into a ball. Plastic-wrap the dough and let it rest for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Roll out the dough to a 17 cm width rectangle, place the butter sheet on top, and wrap the butter by folding the dough. Roll out the butter sheet to a 17 cm square to use. Roll out the dough and make one double-fold and one single-fold. Wrap the dough with plastic and rest it for about one hour in the refrigerator. Make another double-fold, roll out the dough to a size of 16 × 40 cm, cut to 1 cm width, and store them in the freezer. Brush maple syrup on the Silpat. Sprinkle maple sugar on top. You can replace maple sugar with light brown sugar. There may be lumps of maple sugar, so it’s better to sieve to use. Put feuilletage between the rectangular metal molds spaced 4 cm apart, and bake in an oven preheated to 170°C for about 23~25 minutes.

Coconut sorbet

  • 45 g water
  • 100 g coconut milk
  • 55 g sugar
  • 1 g ice cream stabilizer
  • 450 g coconut puree

Heat water and coconut milk in a saucepan until it boils. Add sugar and ice cream stabilizer, and bring to boil. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl with coconut puree. Mix with a blender, refrigerate for a day and make sorbet with the ice cream maker. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can also use Pacojet.

Lapsang Souchong Caramel

  • 100 g heavy cream (36%)
  • 40 g milk
  • 45 g glucose A
  • 0,5 g salt
  • 1 g Lapsang souchong tea leaves
  • 40 g sugar
  • 10 g glucosa B
  • 30 g butter

Heat heavy cream, milk, glucose A, salt, and lapsang souchong tea leaves in a saucepan until it boils, then remove from the heat and let it infuse for 10 minutes. In a different pot, heat sugar and glucose B to caramelize. Add 1 little by little and heat until thickened. Filter through a sieve. Add butter, emulsify using a blender, then store in the refrigerator.

Caramel syrup

  • 50 g sugar
  • 60 g water
  • 1/4 g vanilla bean
  • Zest 1 orange
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 10 g butter

Put sugar in a pot and caramelize it to 175°C. Add water, vanilla bean, orange zest, and lemon zest, and heat. Add butter and heat until it melts, strain to cool, and store in the refrigerator.

Spicy cream

  • 100 g crème fraîcheApple tatin with Lapsang Souchong Caramel, spicy cream, and coconut sorbet by Eunji Lee
  • 0,5 g fine red pepper powder
  • 1 g salt
  • 7 g lemon juice
  • q.s. lemon zest
  • 3 g panela sugar

Put all the ingredients in a bowl.

  • Crème fraîche is one of the French dairy products, with a milk fat content of 45%, relatively thick, and characterized by an acidic taste. You can substitute it with plain yogurt instead of crème fraîche.

Since fine red pepper powder requires precise measurement, use a micro-scale.

  • Panela sugar is unrefined sugar from Mexico in a block form, so it has to be ground on a grater to use. It is one of the ingredients often used for its unique flavor and caramel aroma. If it’s unavailable, you can replace it with brown sugar.

Combine thoroughly with a whisk.

  • Because crème fraîche has high milk fat content, if you stir too much the cream may separate.
    Pour in a piping bag and refrigerate.


Pipe two Lapsang Souchong caramel rounds on the right side of the plate. Pipe spicy cream between the caramel rounds. Put maple feuilletage over the spicy cream. Brush caramel syrup on the caramel apple tatin warmed in the oven to make it glossy, and then place it next to the maple feuilletage. Top with coconut sorbet over the maple feuilletage.

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