Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tarte Tatin or Upside Down Apple Pie

I love apple desserts. Curtis would stick solely to apple pies, but I like a little variety--apple cake, apple brown betty, and now tarte tatin. I found this version of tarte tatin in Baking: From my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. The recipe itself was pretty easy with not very much hands on time--the most time intensive thing was peeling, coring and quartering the apples. Caramelizing the apples took time, but most of that time, I ignored it. I just checked periodically to make sure the sugar wasn't burning.

Overall, I really liked this recipe for several reasons. 1) I made it in my cast iron skillet. 2) It looks nice when served and it appears I put a lot of time into it. 3) It tastes good. I'll make this again, but next time, I'll caramelize the apples longer and add a little bit of cinnamon to the apples.

Tarte Tatin
from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

1 sheet (8 oz) frozen puff pastry (you can make other dough for this, but who can beat a puff pastry?), thawed
1/2 c unsalted butter
3/4 c sugar
8 - 9 firm apples, such as Gala, Cameo, Crispin, or Granny Smith, peeled, quartered, and cored

Roll out thawed puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into a circle that is 1" larger in diameter than the pan you are using (you can estimate this). Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, prick all over with a fork, and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.

Put a 9 - 10" cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the butter. After it has melted, swirl it around in the pan so it coats the side with a thin layer of butter. Sprinkle the sugar over the butter and remove from heat. Cover the butter and sugar with a layer of apples, peeled sides down in concentric circles. Squeeze as many as possible into the first layer because they will shrink with cooking. Cut the remaining apple quarters in half and layer the leftover apples over top. (pictured at top) Put the pan over medium heat and cook until the sugar turns a deep caramel color. Depending on how hot you are cooking it, it will take 15 - 30 minutes. Check occasionally to be sure the sugar isn't burning and turn down heat if necessary. (If deep caramel color isn't achieved, like in my case, it will still be really good).

Remove from heat and top with refrigerated puff pastry dough, tucking excess edges in at the sides. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees oven for 35 - 40 minutes or until the pastry is baked through and puffed. Upon removing from the oven, cover the skillet with a large rimmed serving plate. With confidence and speed, and wearing good oven mitts, turn the tart out onto the platter and remove the pan. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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