Recipe: Well Hello, Sweet Baked Apples & Warm Flaky Crust

Recipe by Megan Murray at Thunder Pig Confectionary

Sweet Tooth, say hello to warm sweet apples and a flaky crust.

Tart Tatin 

No dessert makes my heart sing quite like Tart Tatin.  Its flaky, buttery, salty crust combines with its tart-yet-caramelized apples to make a perfect bite.  Plus, it’s a perfect use of market-fresh apples. See more below the food photo….

tart tatin recipe, petworth market

Photography by Chef Katie Delaney of L’Academie de Cuisine

For the uninitiated, the Tart Tatin is an upside-down tart that features fruit (traditionally apples) caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked.   The creation story behind this epic dessert involves an apple pie-gone-wrong at the Hotel Tatin in Paris.  As far as I’m concerned, this was the happiest accident in the history of food.

The best part about Tart Tatin – aside from its tastiness – is its adaptability.  Don’t want to get involved with the mess of making your own puff pastry?  Buy some at the store and substitute it.  Don’t have apples?  You can substitute nearly any seasonal fruit from your local market.

The following recipe includes the recipe and techniques to create your own puff pastry, but if this seems daunting, substituting store bought puff pastry is just fine.

For the puff pastry:

Ingredients:

16oz of all-purpose flour

1-2 teaspoons of salt

14oz of unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1″ cubes

1 cup of cold water

Techniques:

1.) add flour, salt, and butter cubes onto a flat surface

2.) add water one tablespoon of water at a time, using a bench scraper or other flat tool to incorporate the water into the flour

3.) use all the water – when complete, you will have an unattractive, craggy mess of dough with large chunks of butter.

4.) use a rolling pin to pound this mess to flatten and further blend the dough.

5.) lightly dust the dough with flour, then roll the dough into a rectangle – about the size of a sheet of loose leaf

6.) fold the dough in thirds like a business letter, wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 40 minutes to rest.

7.) repeat steps 5 – 6 five times

8.) once finished, you have a puff pastry you can be proud of…plus extra to save for later.

You will need about 1/6  of your puff pastry for your Tart Tatin recipe.  Cut off this amount and roll that piece into a rough circle, about 1/8″ thick.  You can save the remaining dough wrapped in plastic in the fridge for two days, or wrapped in the freezer for up to six months.

For the Tart Tatin: 

Ingredients:

sheeted puff pastry (either your recipe or store-bought)

2oz of unsalted butter

8oz of sugar

8-10 apples, peeled, cored, and quartered

one cast iron skillet

 

Technique:

* Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

1.) melt butter and sugar in your skillet – do not stir!

2.) once your sugar and butter begin to caramelize, add the apples vertically…the result should look like a Bloomin’ Onion…made of apples and delicious caramel

3.) pack in the apples tightly and cook them until they are knife-tender

4.) cut your rolled-out puff pastry to fit over the apples in your skillet

5.) place the puff on top of the apples and tuck in the edges to form a “wall” around your cooked apples

6.) place the whole skillet in your 375 degree oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown

Let your Tart Tatin cool in the pan.  While the tart is still warm, place a platter larger than the size of your skillet on top of your puff pastry, grab your skillet handle with one hand and your platter bottom with the other and flip the skillet contents onto the platter.  Have a spatula ready to loosen any apples that might be stuck.  Slice and serve Tart Tatin to hungry friends and guests.

 

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