Superb Christmas dessert ..La fantastique Tarte Tatin or The Reversed Tatin Apple Tart

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Let’s say thank you to these two French sisters ‘ Les demoiselles Tatin’  Stephanie and Caroline, who by accident in the late 1800′ invented this wonderful apple tart with a caramelized top served hot. They would be so surprised to learn that their accidental tart is now a French cuisine classic served worldwide.

I want to share with you some few secrets to make this fantastic French dessert a real success..:

choose the right kind of apple, Golden delicious, Granny Smith, or Macintosh, fresh and dense, have ready a good 9 inch. cast iron skillet or an heavy duty nonstick skillet, a good towel (for the hot skillet handle).

Well here we go.. When done and served, your guests will strictly love you!!!

Tarte tatin

Ingredients :

  • 6 to 8 good solid fresh apples, well peeled, cored, cleaned of any bruises, cut in quarters, keep 1 half.
  • lemon juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 sheet puff pastry store bought
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp flour
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon unsalted butter cut in pieces
  • vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche

How to make it :

Preheat the oven at 400F.

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Cut apples in quarter + 1 half, sprinkle with lemon juice to avoid the browning and reserve

Over medium heat, add sugar to the skillet, then water and let sugar dissolve. Let the liquid reach the boiling point than reduce heat. When sugar has melt and it gets brown on the edges start to swirl the skillet often using a oven glove or towel for the hot handle. Do not stir, swirl the caramel while is crystalizing. When you get a great golden/brown color, add pieces of butter using a good spatula. The butter helps to soften the liquid caramel.

Once caramel is ready, remove from heat. Working with care (caramel is hot), place the apple in rounds starting from the skillet edges, crowd them tightly until your reach the  placing the half in the center. Use some small thick pieces to fill up the gasps. The apples should be set tightly, if not the tart will collapse when reversed.

Return apples to heat and cook them at least 20 minutes at low heat. Do not let the syrup burn, when done remove from heat and let it cool on wire rack.

While the apples cook or few hours ahead prepare the pastry. Sprinkle flour on your surface with flour, roll the pastry sheet out, in a rolling movement. always the same, from down to up, about 1/8 inch. thick sheet of pastry. Then with a cookie cutter cut the pastry in a 12  to 14 inches round, (larger then the skillet top). place on parchment paper lined baking sheet flat and refrigerate. Return to room temperature 10 minutes before apples are done.

When your skillet  has cooled down working fast, cover top of  the apples with the pastry, making sure to tuck it in the pastry carefully around skillet edges to avoid any syrup to run out. Make 2 or 3 vents on pastry top. Place skillet on a parchment lined baking sheet, place it in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 375F and bake for 25 minutes more till pastry is golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool 5 to 8 minutes. Not too long to keep the caramel soft. Using a sharp knife, loosen tart from the skillet , place your serving cake rimmed plate over the skillet, invert it carefully.

Here is, hot apple smells and brown caramel colors!!! Serve it hot, with a spoon of creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream and good glass of Muscadet wine!!

Un vrai délice,  de Paris un Joyeux Noel pour tous..  Merry Christmas to you!!!!!

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