November 16, 2012

apple tart tatin

We've been getting better tasting apples, thanks to the organic produce that we order almost weekly now. It's such a treat to get to enjoy the freshness and intense flavor of the different apple varieties that we get this fall season.

I have heard and read about tart tatin, a French upside down tart which I've never tried before but have always been curious about. Getting some good looking Granny Smith apples recently inspired me to search for the recipe and finally try to make it.

the apples poaching in brown sugar and butter

(1) Granny Smith apples (2) poaching in syrup (3) topping with the pastry crust (4) lightly browned crispy crust


I was happy to find this easy to follow recipe in one of my favorite series of cookbooks which I've been referring to with successful results so far. This is an adaptation of the Apple Tart Tatin in The Book of French Provincial Cooking by Hilaire Walden.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3-4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and qaurtered
lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
lemon zest strips and mint sprigs for decoration (optional)

 2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup butter, diced
2 or 3 tablespoons heavy cream or iced water (add more as needed)

Combine flour and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter squares and cut them into the flour using a fork or pastry cutter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add enough cream or iced water to form a dough. Form into a flat round disk about 1" thick, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

In a heavy skillet or cast iron pan about 9 to 9 1/2" in diameter, heat butter until melted. Sprinkle with sugar and arrange the apples on top, rounded side down. Sprinkle with lemon juice and cook over medium heat until apples are lightly caramelized. Preheat oven to 400F. Roll out pastry crust on a lighlty floured surface or board then transfer on top of the apples. Tuck the pastry edge down the side of the skillet. Prick the pastry with a fork. Bake 20 minutes or until
crust is lightly browned. Turn out tart onto a serving plate while still hot being extra careful with the steam from the boiling syrup. Decorate with the mint sprigs and lemon zest strips.

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