Happy Canadian Thanksgiving with this lovely harvest time treat!
Though I would never make it for our traditional Thanksgiving feast. I would be in big trouble for bucking tradition if I did. However, this is an absolutely delicious company crowd-pleaser and when served with my homemade crÃ¨me fraÃ®che, deadly. Drop dead deadly.
I wanted to show you how it looked before I put on the puffed pastry because the apples actually did cook faster than I expected, so I removed them, cooked down the caramel and placed them back in. “Stuff” happens.
It just so happens that on one of my trips to France a few years ago we stopped for lunch just 15 minutes outside of Lamotte-Beuvron where the Tatin sisters were from that supposedly created this tarte in 1888 by accident. I was told by the guide that the little place I lunched at had the best Tarte Tatin in the entire area. We were in a small place called La FertÃ©-Saint-Aubin. I ordered nothing else. Well, a strong French coffee and a slice of this beautiful tart. It arrived hot, as it must, to be properly served: right out of the oven and then ladled with crÃ¨me fraÃ®che. I savoured every single bite. I believe this one was just as good, except I disobeyed the cardinal rule and served it room temperature.
I now know I could have left the filling as in the photo above, and slapped on the icy cold rolled puffed pastry just 40 minutes before service. Live and learn. That is definitely what I would do next time.
Let it rest about 15 minutes before flipping onto the serving tray: be careful and pray.
I chose the rustic Jamie Oliver idea with more “refined” apple slices as I remember them from that fine sunny late afternoon in France savouring my very own slice of La Tarte Tatin.
La Tarte Tatin
Special Equipment Suggested: A heavy ovenproof frying pan, such as cast-iron, 9 by 2 inches with fairly straight sides, or heavy no-stick aluminum; a large enough flat-bottomed serving dish, a bulb baster
- 7 to 8 larger apples, Golden Delicious recommended ““the right apple is essential here”¦ (I used Granny Smith)
- the grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 16 ounces butter pastry dough (the whole box)
- Quarter, core, and peel the apples; cut the quarters in half lengthwise (eight slices per apple); toss in a bowl with the lemon and 1/2 cup of sugar and let steep 20 minutes so they will exude their juices; drain them
- Set the frying pan over moderately high heat with the butter, and when melted, blend in the remaining cup of sugar
- Stir about with a wooden spoon for several minutes, until the syrup turns a bubbly caramel brown (it will smooth out later when the apples juices dissolve the sugar)
- Remove from heat and arrange in circular layers of apple slices nicely in the bottom of the pan to make an attractive design close packed and reasonably neat; add enough so that they heap up 1 inch higher than the rim of the pan (they will sink as they cook; mine we just level with the pan)
- Preheat the oven to 425Â°F for the next step, placing the rack in the lower middle level
- Set the pan again over moderately high heat on the stove top, pressing the apples down as they soften, and drawing the accumulated juices up over them with the bulb baster ““ basting gives the whole apple mass a deliciously buttery caramel flavor. In several minutes, when the apples begin to soften, cover the pan and continue cooking 10 to 15 minutes, checking and basting frequently until the juices are thick and syrupy
- Remove from heat, and let cool slightly while you roll out the dough; I used the whole box using cold butter to fuze the two portions together on top of each other and rolled as one piece
- Roll the chilled dough into a circle 3/16 inch thick and 1 inch larger than the top of your pan; cut a steam hole
- Working rapidly, fold the dough in half, then in quarters; center the point over the apples; unfold the dough over the apples; ress the edges of the dough down between the apples and the inside of the pan with a wooden spoon so you don’t burn yourself
- Bake until the pastry has browned and crisped (about 25 minutes); careful of the red-hot pan handle, remove from the oven
- Tilt the pan, and if the juices are runny rather than a thick syrup, boil down rapidly on top on the stove, but be sure not to evaporate them completely or the apples will stick to the pan
- Remember that the pan is red-hot, turn the serving dish upside down over the apples and reverse the two to unmold the tart onto a large serving dish with a lip; rearrange slices as necessary
- Serve hot, with crÃ¨me fraÃ®che and be prepared to hear a chorus of groans of pleasure!