Thursday, August 4, 2011

Apple {or Pear} Tarte Tartin

Tarte Tartin (or tartin or tartaine) is a French dessert that is basically an upside-down pie of sorts with no top crust (or bottom crust, depending on what point in the recipe you are referring to!  It starts on the top, but becomes the bottom when you serve it).  I saw the recipe on the cycle of TV "programs" that were playing in the Charleston airport when I was on my way home from visiting my parents.
When it was invented (in 1898 by the Tatin sisters, Stephanie and Caroline, who worked at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France.  1.  Hurray for sissies! and 2. Thanks to Wiki for the research on Tatins), it was made with apples, but the TV program made it with pears.  I loooove cooked pears and wanted to make it with that as well, but Aldi was out of pears and I bought apples.  It's a new, fun recipe that would be great this fall with seasonal fruit and you will learn how to basically make home-made caramel.  This isn't a recipe you have to stand in watch, either (which I originally thought considering the caramel).  In the beginning, you will want to babysit, but then it's as easy as.. well.. Tartin!

Nix the almonds!
  • 6 apples, peeled, cored and halved
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces Homemade Puff Pastry,found in freezer section
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl toss the apple halves with the lemon juice and set aside (the lemon juice stops enzymatic browning- enzymes from the apples interact with oxygen and turn brown =D)
Melt the butter in a 9 or 10-inch skillet over high heat. Add the sugar and cook until the sugar melts and then caramelizes to an amber color, swirling the skillet if necessary for even browning. (Do not stir or sugar may crystallize.) Remove the skillet from the heat.

Arrange a tight layer of apples, rounded sides down, over the caramel. Cut the remaining apple halves in half so that you now have apple quarters. Arrange these over the apple halves, cut sides down, arranging apples neatly. Cover the skillet and return the skillet to the heat. Cook over medium-low heat until the apples are almost tender and have released their juices, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium and cook until the juices have reduced and are very thick and syrupy, about 15 more minutes.
I added a few sprinkles of cinnamon-  my apples did not turn brown!

Transfer the dough to the counter top and allow to sit at room temperature until slightly softened, following the packaging instructions. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 12-inch diameter round about 3/16-inch thick.

Place the dough atop the hot apples and tuck the edges into the skillet, carefully folding or pushing the overhang down tightly around the apples. Cut several slits in the dough to allow steam to escape while baking.
Bake until the tart crust is golden, about 20 minutes. Remove tart from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Run a small knife around the edge of the skillet to loosen tart, then place a large plate or platter over the skillet. Using oven mitts, CAREFULLY grasp platter and skillet and invert, letting tart settle onto the platter and giving skillet a quick tap if necessary. Carefully lift off the skillet and place any apples remaining in skillet on top of the tart. Cool slightly and serve warm, with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.
Daniel loves making friends with food at work, so this is headed to Barcus tomorrow for some lucky Engineers.



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