Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tart Tatin

NPR recently had a wonderful segment with cook book author Dorie Greenspan, with Ms. Greenspan sharing her recipe for tart Tatin.

Since we picked ~40 pounds of apples at the local orchard a couple weeks ago, it was time to give it a go.

The tart turned out remarkably well, and was extremely impressive to serve. We paired it with a fresh batch of serious vanilla ice cream, and some friends to help eat it.

Apple Tart Tatin
(with thanks to Dorie Greenspace)

1 stick butter
3/4 cup sugar
~6-8 firm/sweet apples (we used Firesides)
1 sheet (8 oz) frozen puff pastry
dash of cinnamon

Thaw out one sheet (8 oz) of frozen puff pastry (in the freezer section of your local supermarket). On a floured surface, roll out sheet so that 1-2" larger than your pan. Trim sheet into a circle shape (can be sloppy...doesn't matter), poke all over with a fork, and keep in fridge until ready to put in oven.

Find an oven proof 8-10" fry pan. Melt the stick of butter. Swirl butter around to cover the sides of the pan. Sprinkle sugar over melted butter and remove from heat. Peel, quarter, and core apples. Arrange apples, rounded side down, around frying pan. Try to arrange apples nicely, and pack in as much as you can. Apples will shrink during cooking, and the apples will be the visible presentation for the dish. Once one layer is laid down, cut remaining apples into smaller pieces and fill in cracks and even out the apples. Depending on size of apple and pan, the number of apples you need will vary. Sprinkle cinnamon to taste over apples (I went on the lighter side so as to not overwhelm the flavor of the apples).

Return pan to heat and cook over medium high heat until caramel turns dark. This will take about 15 minutes. Initially, will go very slowly. When color starts to change, will change quickly. You may need to reduce the heat towards the end so as to not burn the caramel.

Cover apples with puff pastry. OK to tuck pastry in at edge. Place on a covered cookie sheet (to catch drippings) and place into a 375 degree oven. Cook for 40-50 minutes, or until puff pastry is done.

Remove from oven, cover pan with a rimmed serving dish larger than pan, and CAREFULLY but quickly turn pan upside down to transfer to serving plate. If any apples stick to pan, carefully put back on tart.

Let tart cool for 10 minutes or so (caramel is too hot and too liquid to serve right away), and serve with your favorite ice cream.

I had no troubles with sticking or with the transfer to the serving dish. Visually, the dish was extremely impressive (the apples had a wonderful color). The tart was sweeter than I thought it would be, but absolutely delicious. Our local food critics (ie, our girls) enjoyed it a lot, although our younger one still refuses to eat apples that aren't apple sauce.

This one could become a family standard.

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