03 March, 2011

Tarte tatin

 I always love when my whole family gets to eat dinner together.  Tonight I made a marinated pork loin and roasted rosemary potatoes.  For dessert last minute I decided to make a tarte tatin.  Tarte tatin is kind of like an upside down apple pie.  I didn't make make the apples in beautiful rows because of time, and the crust isn't as smooth as I'd like, but believe me it tasted terrific.  Flip it out of pan and serve it up with some vanilla bean ice cream. Sorry I didn't take a picture of it plated up.  
My version was pretty rustic but very delicious.
5 to 6 apples, Granny Smith or your favorite apple
1 cup sugar
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter,
 your favorite pie crust (half recipe) or puffed pastry

 Quarter, core, and peel the apples; cut the quarters
in half lengthwise. Toss in a bowl with the lemon and 1/2 cup of sugar,
and let steep 20 minutes so they will exude their juices. Drain them.

 Set the frying pan over moderately high heat with the butter, and when melted blend in the remaining [1 cup] sugar. Stir about with a wooden spoon for several minutes, until the syrup turns a bubbly caramel brown – it will smooth out later, when the apples juices dissolve the sugar.
 Remove from heat and arrange a layer
of apple slices nicely in the bottom of the pan to make an attractive design. Arrange the rest
of the apples on top close packed and only reasonably neat. Add enough
so that they heap up 1 inch higher than the rim of the pan – they sink
down as they cook.

 (Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F for the next step, placing the rack in the lower middle level.) Set the pan again over moderately high heat, pressing the apples down as
they soften, and drawing the accumulated juices up over them with the bulb
baster – basting gives the whole apple mass a deliciously buttery caramel flavor. In several minutes, when the apples begin to soften, cover the pan
and continue cooking 10 to 15 minutes, checking and basting frequently
until the juices are thick and syrupy. Remove from heat, and let cool
slightly while you roll out the dough.

          Roll the chilled dough into a circle 3/16 inch thick and 1 inch larger than the top of your pan. Cut 4 steam holes, 1/4-inch size, 1 1/2 inches from around the center of the dough. Working rapidly, fold the dough in half, then in quarters; center the point over the apples. Unfold the dough over the apples. Press the edges of the dough down between the apples and the inside of the pan.
 Bake until the pastry has browned and crisped. Being careful of the red-hot pan handle, remove
from the oven.

 Tilt the pan, and if the juices are runny rather than a thick syrup, boil down rapidly on top on the stove, but be sure not to evaporate them completely or the apples will stick to the pan.
 Still remembering that the pan is red-hot, turn the serving dish
upside down over the apples and reverse the two to unmold the tart. If
not quite neat in design – which does happen – rearrange slices as
necessary. Serve hot, warm, or cold, with the optional cream or
ice cream.


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