So school is stressful. Yup that is a well known fact. A little too well known by me for my liking. I love the work that I do in school but sometimes (a lot of the time) I MISS BAKING!
There is not a lot of time for baking when you are a student unfortunately. But a miracle happened the other day AND I HAD TIME TO BAKE!
I also had a large bag of apples from our neighbor's backyard that needed to be dealt with. Little late on the fall baking... whateva.
I also have been dying to try my hand at making a classic Tarte Tatin.
Tarte Tatin (pronounced tart tatahn... with my sad attempt at a french accent) is a classic French dessert, that if I am correct, was invented by two sisters with the last name of Tatin. The making of this tart caused a lot of confusion in my house as to how exactly to pronounce the title. My advice is to just pretend you are an elegant french lady (or man when applicable) and say it quickly with confidence. (Note, this advice is applicable to nearly all life situations.)
The tart itself is similar to an apple pie, but you bake it upside-down, which is just whimsical!
The journey begins with a cast iron pan on the stove with lots of butter and sugar and arranged apple slices, we then take the party to the oven to slowly cook the apples, then we add a layer of puff pastry to the top, bake until it is, well, puffed, then out of the oven and FLOP it over (gracefully, please) onto a platter so the pastry is on the bottom and your apples are prettily displayed on top! How romantic, sigh. BON APPETITE!
Recipe is from my dear Martha and her amazing Pies and Tarts book
- 1/2 box of store bought frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3-4 pounds your neighbours apples (If your neighbours do not have apples to give you, you should use store bought and promptly find new neighbours)
- Cast iron pan, 10 inches in diameter
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the thawed puff pastry dough to about a 10 inch square. Using your pan as a guide, cut out a 10 inch circle. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and chill until firm, or about 30 minutes.
As your pastry is chilin' coat your pan GENEROUSLY with the butter. Seriously, use it all. It looks like a lot, and it is a lot. But what were you expecting? It's a dessert. Now sprinkle the sugar all over the bottom in an even layer. Peel, core and quarter (or thickly slice) your apples. Arrange the apple slices in pretty, overlapping circles in the pan. Keep in mind that we are flipping this whole thing over once it is done, so make that bottom layer beautiful!
Place the pan on the stove over medium high heat and cook it (Without stirring!) until the juices are a deep golden colour and it is happily bubbling away. This takes about 18-20 minutes. This stage is to turn your sugar and butter into a delicious caramel type of sauce.
Now, pop the whole pan straight into a 425F preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and place your chilled pastry overtop of the apples. return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 23-28 minutes to brown the pastry.
Take the pan out of the oven and invert the tart onto a large serving platter or plate and have a "tadaa!" moment. My "tadaa" moment was rather anti-climactic, I won't lie, as a few of my apples stuck to the bottom of the pan. Do not fear! Do not get mad. Do not let it ruin your Tarte Tatin experience. Just calmly and gently remove them with a fork or spatula and place them on the tart as if nobody saw.
Serve right away while the tart is still warm so your vanilla ice cream can melt into the apple-y goodness.
Happy French Baking!