As with everything else in my life these days, I am so behind in my blogging. I currently have 31 recipes in my draft folder, plus tons of ideas for other posts I haven't even gotten around to starting. Plus, I still need to get around to transferring my photos to the new blog so that I can get that finalized and up and running. Ahhhh life with two monkeys ;)
As its name suggests, this recipe is French in origin. And it's one of Jérôme's favourite desserts. Camille
made this for us when she came to visit two years ago. It was the
first time I had had it and I also loved it. Following her departure, I
tried in vain to reproduce it a few times. But none of the
recipes I found did
Camille's tart justice - or perhaps it was that I just hadn't mastered the technique??
As defined by Wikipedia, "tarte tatin is an upside-down tart in which the fruit (usually apples) are caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked". Mmm... It turns out that Josiane had given me a whole tarte tatin cookbook awhile back. So my new mission is to make a blueberry tarte tatin with some delicious fresh blueberries when I have a chance. And a rhubarb one. And a banana one. And a banana chocolate chip one. But I'm getting ahead of myself here.
Camille made us two of these during her visit. One of which has already sadly disappeared (of course, its whereabouts are completely unknown). The other is tucked safely in the freezer. For the time being at least ;)
Being a French recipe, it is in grams, so you'll need to get out your food scale for this one - which I know you've purchased, having been tempted by other French recipes here on my blog ;)
Camille said this is typically made with Golden Delicious apples. She made ours with Red Delicious and it was wonderful. If you use another variety, just be sure that it is a type that will hold its shape with cooking so that you don't end up with applesauce.
1/2 C sugar
4 1/2 very large (Costco-sized) apples (I think you'd need maybe 7-8 regular sized apples - enough to fill the entire pan)
pie pastry (traditionally with puff pastry, but you can try it with any kind of pastry you have - Camille brought us one from France!!)
You will also need a pan that can go both on the stove and in the oven for this recipe. We used a pie plate for one of the pies and one of our Le Creuset pans for the other.
1. Peel and core apples and cut into quarters. Set aside.
2. Melt butter in the pan. Sprinkle sugar over the entire pan and do not stir (you can mix it just slightly, but barely).
3. Place the apples on top of the butter/sugar mixture in a circle formation. Be sure the squeeze the apples tightly together.
4. Cook on medium heat until the butter/sugar mixture has caramelized. You will know that this has happened when the mixture takes on a rich brown colour.
This is what the butter mixture will look like as it starts to cook:
And this is what it will look like when the sugar has caramelized and you can take it off of the stove:
Do not stir anything while it is cooking.
5. Place the pie pastry on top of the apples, tucking in the edges. Cut a small vent into the centre of the pie. Place a piece of parchment paper inside the vent to prevent it from closing while cooking.
6. Cook at approximately 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then lower to 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned. Camille swears that you don't have to check if the apples are cooked.
7. To take the pie out of the pan, let the pie cool a bit, but not completely (or otherwise the caramel will harden and everything will be stuck in the pan). If the pie has completely cooled, you will need to heat it up a bit again to be able to get it out of the pan. If you turn the pan just upside down, the caramel will all drip out. You want to take it out by turning it upside down in a circular motion. And, of course, place a large plate over the crust before unmolding.
Camille mentioned that she suspects that restaurants do a double layering of apples to be sure there are no gaps between the apples when cooked. I'm sure that just makes it doubly delicious.
Difficulty level: difficult for a novice. Though easier for someone who has experience baking.