Monday, January 18, 2010
Tarte Tatin: Part II
Oh, this is good....REALLY good!!! And what I love most about it--it literally has only 3 ingredients--sugar, butter, and apples. How can you go wrong?
My husband and I just shared a piece, and I got a little nervous when he had a few bites and started off his "review" with, "I'm sure this is going to come off the wrong way, but I'm going to say it anyway." (I'm thinking--danger, abort!! abort!! this never goes over well!!) But actually, what he had to say was kind of true-- "It sort of tastes like an apple pie from McDonalds." And you know what, I have to agree...but I don't mind one bit!
There are a million versions of this recipe, but I used the recipe from Williams-Sonoma. It was simple and easy to follow. My only mishap may have been with the crust, but this is supposed to be a "rustic" dessert, so after a minor emergency crust surgery, it all worked out (and thankfully, since we flip this pie over, the holes/lumps in the crust will remain a dirty little secret).
Here is what you will need:
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375°F, and peel the apples.
Step 2: Cut the apples. Some people cut the apples a bit larger than I did, but it is really a matter of taste. Since I have never made this before, I actually practiced placing the apples in the cast-iron skillet.
Step 3: To make the filling, set a 10-inch straight-sided, ovenproof fry pan, preferably cast iron, over medium heat and heat the butter. When it melts, sprinkle the sugar evenly over the butter and continue cooking until the sugar melts and turns amber colored, 3 to 4 minutes. Shake and swirl the pan frequently to redistribute the sugar for even melting and caramelization.
Step 4: Arrange the apples, core side up, in the caramel in a snug, even layer. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the apples are just tender, about 15 minutes. The caramel will bubble up around the apples. Remove the pan from the heat.
Step 5: Now while the apples are cooking, lightly dust a work surface and a rolling pin with flour. Roll out the chilled dough from Part I into a 12-inch round, a scant 1/4 inch thick. Lift and turn the dough several times as you roll to prevent sticking, and dust the surface and the rolling pin with additional flour as needed. Use a dough scraper or icing spatula to loosen the pastry if it sticks. Trim the dough into an 11-inch round. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
Step 6: Uncover the pastry round. When the bubbling has subsided, slide both hands under the pastry round and carefully place it on top of the apples, tucking in the edges and being careful not to burn your fingers. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Step 7: Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Place a large flat serving plate upside down on top of the pan and invert the pan and plate together. Lift off the pan. HAVE NO FEAR! JUST FLIP IT!!
For the filling:
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
3⁄4 cup sugar
5 Golden Delicious or other baking or all-purpose
apples, about 2 lb. total, peeled, quartered
lengthwise and cored
Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)