Why not celebrate the fall apple harvest with a French tarte tatin instead of a traditional pie? The dish is baked with the fruit on the bottom and the crust on top in an ovenproof skillet and then flipped over, resulting in a delicious tart of baked apples, rich caramel sauce and flaky crust.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: 3
TIME: 1 HOURS
APPLE TARTE TATIN
8 Granny Smith apples
Juice of two lemons
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Karo Syrup
4 tablespoons butter
flaky dough prepared ahead (or one package of puff pastry)
1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Peel, core and halve the apples and toss them in the lemon juice.
2. In an ovenproof 9-inch sauté pan, heat the sugar, water and Karo Syrup on medium-high heat. Stir the sugar occasionally with a wooden spoon so that it caramelizes uniformly. Once the sugar has fully caramelized (turning the color of coffee with a little cream in it), add the butter. Be careful: The caramel will be very hot.
3. Using a pair of tongs, add the apple pieces individually until they are packed tightly and slightly overlapping. Cook the apples for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
4. Place the prepared flaky dough (or puff pastry) over the apples and fold the rim of the flaky dough back over on itself to form a lip.
5. Using a knife, make a hole in the center of the pastry about ½ inch in diameter. Fold a 2-inch square piece of aluminum foil in half, and wrap it around your finger to form a cylindrical tube. Insert the foil tube into the hole in the center of the pastry.
6. Place the pan with the apples and the pastry into the preheated oven. Bake until the flaky dough is cooked, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the dish to cool for about 45 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil vent.
7. When ready to serve, heat the pan over medium heat to loosen the apples and caramelized sugar from the pan. Place a large plate over the pan, and then invert the pan so that the pastry will be under the apples. Use a rubber spatula to loosen the tart if needed.
1 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, diced into small cubes
6-7 tablespoons of very cold water
1. Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Toss the diced butter with the flour to coat each cube.
2. Using a bench scraper or two forks, chop the butter with the flour until the mixture resembles coarsely ground cornmeal.
3. Make a well in the mixture and pour the water into the well. Incorporate the dry ingredients with the water, beginning with the walls of the well and working outward.
4. Once the flour and water are combined, but still loose and crumbly, form the mixture into a loose ball. Using the heel of your hand, smear the dough a bit at a time across a lightly floured surface such as a table, stretching it to a length of about 10-12 inches. This milling process helps to fully incorporate the butter into the dough. Form the dough into a ball and repeat the milling process. Press the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and then chill for at least 30 minutes.