Friday, October 7, 2011

Caramelized Apple Tarte Tatin

I always hear that food shouldn't just taste delicious but should also be a treat for the eye. I agree. But, isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder? The food I make isn't the most gorgeous around but I will tell you~ it is delicious. And when I think of beautiful food, I think of nature's bounty, amazing fresh color, with the asymmetry of nature... I've been known to say aloud in the produce section- "Wow, how beautiful is this pepper?!"

And please, ignore me at the farmer's market or the actual farm!!! It's delightful to me to find natural delicacy. So when I think of exquisite dishes, I think of rustic fare. It makes my tummy rumble! And the same goes for dessert... (now don't get me wrong, I love & appreciate the sculpted handy work of a true pastry chef, but I alas, am not one.)

My apple tarte tatin is all rustic goodness.  This is another culinary recipe that was created by accident. I love those, don't you? If you love cookies, you do! 

The history goes... at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France in 1898 run by the two Tatin sisters, St├ęphanie Tatin, who did most of the cooking, was overworked one day. She started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter & sugar for too long. Smelling the burning, she tried to rescue the dish by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, quickly finishing the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven. She served it after turning out the upside down tart.

Here's my version, so, let's get ready to rumble!:

Caramelized Apple Tarte Tatin
  • 2 TBSp unsalted Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 Large baking Apples (I used my favorite~Honeycrisp!)
  • 1 sheet of Homemade Crust or Store Bought Pastry Dough
Prep (grease) a round 9" regular cake pan (not a springform pan). Set aside.

To make the caramel: In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter on medium heat. Do not burn! Add the sugar, constantly stirring until it is incorporated, melted into the butter & browned. Pour it into readied cake pan. Set aside carefully to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prep the apples~ peel, core & evenly slice them. When caramel is cooled, arrange the slices Do a second layer & place slices in the middle of the pan. Place the pan in the oven & bake for 50 minutes. nicely, in one layer, overlapping a little, going around the cake pan on the caramel.

Meanwhile create the pie dough then roll it out. Create a 9" round crust. *Lishie tip~ To help do this, before even baking, trace the round baking pan on a larger piece of parchment paper & trace! I free form this crust by hand as if I am working with pizza dough for a handmade, rustic quality. Poke the crust, using a fork a few times (this allows air to escape while cooking so the crust doesn't puff up.)

When step 1 of the apple & caramel cooking is complete, remove the pan from the oven carefully. Place the round crust on top of the apples. Return the pan to the oven for 17-20 minutes, until the crust is browned & the apples are bubbling.

Allow to cool but not completely cool (it's best served warm!). When ready, place a larger serving plate inverted onto the top of the baking pan. Deftly, with both hands on either side of the plate/pan, turn the pan over quickly so that the tartin contents empty into the plate in one swoop! Make sure all caramel shifts to the plate!!!

Slice, serve & enjoy!

<3 Lishie

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