Another French lesson from Anne Willan’s book, The Country Cooking of France . This time it’s an upside down caramelized apple tart. I made this for Veronica, Joey and Sunshine, and I’m definitely going to make this one again. It was fun making the pâte brisée old school, like Sunshine does with his pasta. I love watching the video of him kneading the pasta dough, he has a LOT more patience than I do. It is pasta and he is Italian, so it’s kind of in his DNA. So….back to apples and France we go.
Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin
- 3 pounds firm apples
- 4 ounces butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons water
- 6 tablespoons butter
To make the pâte brisée: Sift flour onto a work surface and make a well in the center. Put egg yolk and salt in the middle of the well.
Pound butter with a rolling pin to soften and add to the well.
Work with your fingers to incorporate all of the ingredients in the well. Using a pastry scraper, gradually draw in the flour from the sides of the well and continue working with both hands until coarse crumbs form.
Gently press into a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.
Peel, halve and core the apples. Melt butter in a large oven proof sauté pan. Sprinkle with sugar, and cook over medium heat without stirring until it starts to brown. Stir gently and continue to cook for 6-8 minutes, until deep golden brown. Turn off heat.
Arrange apples in concentric circles with cut side standing vertically. Pack them as tightly as possible into the sauté pan. Return the pan to medium heat and cook apples for 8 minutes, or until the juices start to run from the apples. Turn the heat up a little bit and continue to cook for 15-25 minutes, until caramelized to a deep golden brown.
Turn each apple halve upside down and continue to cook over medium heat for 10-20 minutes, or until more of the juice has evaporated. Remove and cool until tepid.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Roll out dough to a round just larger than sauté pan. Top apples with dough. Slice the center of the dough to create an air vent for the steam to escape. Tuck the edges down around the apples. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until dough is firm and lightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. The tarte tatin can be made up to 12 hours ahead of time, kept in the pan and refrigerated. To serve, heat pan on stove top to soften the caramel and loosen apples. But who can wait? To finish, invert tarte onto serving plate and serve with whipped cream.
Caramelized apple tarte tatin wine pairing: You’re keeping me busy with my favorite wine type – dessert wines! This dessert screams for a Sauternes and I happen to have a great one for you. The Chateau Guiraud 2003 Sauternes was #14 on the top 100 wines for 2006 as picked by the Wine Spectator and they bestowed it with 95 points as well! Very sweet and rich on the nose, with toffee, honey and spices. Full-bodied, with thick honey, spice, dried apricot and syrup flavors that last for minutes on the palate. Big botrytis bomb. Love it.