Apple Tarte Tatin
With a few little tips, this recipe is really very easy. It can be accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some whipped cream.
Step 1: Shortcrust Pastry
Melt the butter in a double-boiler, stirring it with a whisk. Let cool for a few seconds. Add the salt and mix. Add the confectioners’ sugar. Mix. Add the flour in a steady stream, while continuing to mix. Once the dough begins to come together, take out the whisk and continue to mix with a spatula. Work in the baking powder.
Break the egg into a ramekin, beat it with a fork, then pour it into the dough. Mix it until the dough comes together into a ball. Flatten it slightly, put it on a plate, and leave it to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
If you prepare the dough the day before, remember to take it out of the refrigerator a bit before you want to use it, so that it is not too hard.
You can also make the caramel several hours in advance. There is no need to reheat it before arranging the apples.
Step 2: Caramel
Heat the sugar over high heat in a saucepan. When the sugar has turned a nice, golden color and is beginning to foam, mix it with a wooden spoon. Add the butter. Mix until the butter is melted.
To make a successful caramel, wipe the pan out carefully before starting the process. Move it around during the cooking of the sugar, but do not use any utensils.
The caramel should have a good color without becoming at all brown. Allow 3 to 4 minutes or so.
Pour the caramel into a 8-inch (20-cm) metal baking dish. Split the vanilla pod in two without separating the two halves. Put it into the pan, right in the middle, to form a “V”.
Step 3: Tart
Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Peel and core the apples. Cut them in half vertically. Arrange the apples, standing them upright in the pan. Fill in the center, and fill up any gaps.
It is important for the success of the tart that the apples are all the same thickness. Peel them immediately before cooking to make sure they do not oxidize when in contact with the air.
Place the pan in the bottom of the oven and cook for 1 hour. Check that the apples are cooked. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, then chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the dough on parchment paper, and flour it lightly. Roll it out into a circle about 1/8-inch (3-mm) thick. Lay the lid of the dish upside down on the pastry, and cut the pastry out to the same interior dimensions as the lid. Cut away the excess.
Prick the surface of the dough all over, using a fork. Trim the greaseproof paper to within 1/2 inch (12 mm) of the edge of the dough. Slide the dough, on the paper, onto a baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes. Lay the cooked pastry on a cooling rack. Allow it to cool and harden.
It is always helpful to use parchment paper: there is no need to butter the pan, and the transfer of the pastry base is easy.
After 10 minutes of cooking, the pastry will still be soft. It hardens completely when cool. Handle it with care!
A few minutes before serving, gently warm a serving plate. Place the pastry disk over the apples. Unstick the apples by holding the pastry with one hand and turning the pan from all angles.
When the apples are unstuck from the bottom, turn out the tart. Lay the plate upside down over the pan, invert, and lift the pan away. The tart is ready to be devoured!
This recipe was originally published in "My Best Paul Bocuse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits
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