Tarte Tatin
Mark Murphy cooks a tarte tatin on TODAY April 27, 2015.
TODAY
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Rating:
5.0 (1 rated)
Servings:
1 9-inch tarte

Cook's note: I consider tarte tatin to be one of the most simple and elegant desserts I've ever had, and it also reminds me of my French grandmother, who made it often.

The ingredients are very basic, easily available in most grocery stores. Puff pastry, which takes some time to make by hand, is sold in the frozen food section, significantly simplifying your task. In fact, just about everyone I know-chefs included-buys prepared frozen puff pastry to make their tarte tatin at home. Just be sure to seek out a good-quality pastry-one made with all butter-as it will make a world of difference.

The only thing I'm pretty adamant about when it comes to this dessert is that you use Granny Smith apples, which, in my opinion, consistently stand up to the cooking process without falling apart. Once you make this a few times, you'll get comfortable and forgo the measurements-the tart is so forgiving, you can just eyeball the amounts and still get fantastic results.

Ingredients

    • 4 large firm apples, preferably Granny Smith
    • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • ½ lemon, juiced
    • Pinch of kosher salt
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • All-purpose flour, for dusting
    • About 14 ounces prepared puff pastry (thawed, if frozen)

Preparation

Cook's note: I consider tarte tatin to be one of the most simple and elegant desserts I've ever had, and it also reminds me of my French grandmother, who made it often.

The ingredients are very basic, easily available in most grocery stores. Puff pastry, which takes some time to make by hand, is sold in the frozen food section, significantly simplifying your task. In fact, just about everyone I know-chefs included-buys prepared frozen puff pastry to make their tarte tatin at home. Just be sure to seek out a good-quality pastry-one made with all butter-as it will make a world of difference.

The only thing I'm pretty adamant about when it comes to this dessert is that you use Granny Smith apples, which, in my opinion, consistently stand up to the cooking process without falling apart. Once you make this a few times, you'll get comfortable and forgo the measurements-the tart is so forgiving, you can just eyeball the amounts and still get fantastic results.

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F; position the rack in the middle of the oven.

2. Peel and core the apples and cut them into ½-inch-thick wedges. Place the apples in a large bowl, add 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the lemon juice, and salt, and toss to combine.

3. In a 9-inch ovenproof skillet (not nonstick), heat the remaining 1 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook, stirring with a silicone spatula, until the sugar has melted. As the sugar melts, it will start to caramelize and turn golden. Once the sugar has melted into caramel, cook the caramel, swirling it gently from time to time, until it is the color of a copper penny, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off the heat and add 4 tablespoons of the butter to the caramel, stirring with a spatula to let it melt into the sugar. This will stop the cooking process. Add the apples along with any juices that have collected at the bottom of the bowl, and toss with the caramel a few times until well coated. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons butter into small pieces and place on top of the apples.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to about ¼ inch thick. It helps to cut a 10-inch-diameter circle from a piece of parchment paper to use as a guide. Place the parchment circle on the puff pastry and use a paring knife to cut out a circle of the pastry. Carefully place the pastry over the apples, tucking the overlap underneath. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any drips) and transfer to the oven. Bake the tart for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool until just warm before plating.

5. To plate, place a large platter over the pan and, holding the pan and platter together, swiftly flip the pan over-the tart should easily disengage from the pan and end up on the platter. Serve immediately.

 

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