Apple Tarte Tatin

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Tarte Tatin originates from Western France. You can easily substitute pears for apples, and if desired dot with Gorgonzola cheese just before covering with pastry.

I am such a free form cook that the inflexible formulas required for baking often intimidate me. But this recipe is super easy and delicious. Apple Tarte Tatin is the perfect choice to follow a savory meal like Pasta Bolognese.

Ingredients:
4 oz. margarine
4 oz. white sugar
6 to 8 firm cooking apples, such as Macoun or Granny Smith
1 fresh lemon
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
10-inch seasoned low sided cast iron skillet

To prepare:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Gently roll pastry dough to 1/2-1 inch larger than the inside diameter of the skillet. Place on a metal cookie sheet, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Meanwhile, heat skillet on low heat for 10 minutes. While pan is heating, peel, core, and quarter apples. Brush with lemon juice so the apples don’t turn brown while you prepare everything else.

Melt the margarine in the pan raising heat slightly, but still keeping the heat fairly low. As soon as the margarine melts, add the sugar and slowly cook together until the sugar dissolves.

Arrange the apples in the pan in a snug circular pattern. Cook over low to medium heat for 15 minutes or until the apples are slightly soft and the margarine/sugar mixture begins to caramelize. Make sure to keep an eye on the heat, so the caramel mixture doesn’t burn.

Remove the pan from the heat and place the disc of pastry dough over the apples. Tuck the edges down under the outer rim of apples using the back of a spoon. Move quickly, so that the layers of pastry don’t fuse together. Immediately put pan into the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow the tart to rest for about 5 minutes, then loosen edge with a sharp knife and give the pan a little shake. Place a serving dish over the pan and flip upside down to release the dessert so that the pastry is now on the bottom. Serve warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Note: I love Granny Smith apples for this tart! They’re not too sweet, very crisp, and hold up well during baking.

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