Apple Tarte Tatin
Author/Submitted by: Marthastewart.com
Pies & Pastries
peeled and halved
halved (1 to 2)
Over medium heat in a 10-inch cast iron skillet, heat sugar and water. Cook until it turns a rich golden color; swirling occasionally, about 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, roll puff pastry in one direction out into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface, about 1/8-inch thick. Brush off any excess flour with a pastry brush.
Add butter to skillet. Once melted, add the apples; rounded sides down. Adding as many as possible. Remove from heat and top apples with puff pastry. Fold edges under and crimp slightly. Make 2 to 3 small cuts in the puff pastry to allow the steam to escape. Place in oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375F and bake until pastry is golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and Loosen edges with a knife. Carefully place a plate over the skillet and flip, inverting the Tarte Tatin. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Heat oven to 400F. Core apples using a melon baller to retain the rounded shape of the apples. Rub apples with sliced lemons to prevent browning. Set aside.
Apples are most bountiful during the fall, and there's no better way to impress your family or dinner guests than with a freshly baked Apple Tarte Tatin, a simple and elegant dessert created by two sisters from the Loire Valley who earned their living making what the French call "tarte des demoiselles Tatin, or "the tart of two unmarried women named Tatin." This famous French upside-down apple tart is made by covering the bottom of a shallow baking dish with butter and sugar, then a layer of apples and finally a pastry crust. while baking, the sugar and butter turn into a delicious caramel that becomes the topping when the tart is inverted onto a serving plate.
Choose firm apples that won't soften while baking, like Northern Spy, Winesap or Granny Smith. You can save time and add richness to the tart by using a store-bought puff pastry, instead of making pte brise or pte sucre. Whichever pastry you use, make sure to keep it well-chilled. Martha Stewart likes to make this tart in a cast iron skillet because it helps the fruit to caramelize, but any heavy-duty nonstick pan with a heat-proof handle will do.
Tarte Tatin can be made in advance and left in the pan; simply rewarm it on the stove over low heat to loosen the caramel, making it easy to remove from the pan. For a change, try making this dessert with peaches or pears, and don't forget to serve it with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, crme frache or vanilla ice cream. It's a dessert your family and friends will remember forever.