Apple Tarte Tatin
1 1/2 lbs. Firm Apples
2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
3 oz. Butter (room temperature)
Butter for baking dish
A little Lemon Juice
Crust: I have included a wonderful crust recipe, at the end of the tatin instructions. However, if you don't want to make your own pie crust, just use a good pre-made one!
How to Make It:
Preheat oven to 400°F
1. Peel apples and lightly coat with lemon juice, so that they don't brown.
2. Put sugar and 3 tbsp. water in a pot and let caramelize.
How to caramelize? Let sugar melt into water on a very low flame. Once melted, turn up the flame a bit, don't stir, but tilt the pot and move it around from time to time. Once the syrup has a pale honey color, you can stop, it's caramelized. If you want a darker caramel, just be careful that you don't let it burn.
3. Add butter to caramel and stir until it melts. Take off heat and pour caramel into a buttered pie dish.
4. Cut apples into halves. Cut each half into three even pieces. Place apples in pie dish, so that they are squeezed tightly together. You want to do this step as quickly as possible, so that the caramel doesn't harden too much. If you want, you can begin slicing apples while you are making the caramel. Just be careful to check caramel, so that it doesn't burn.
5. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes. During this time you can prepare the crust, then roll it out so that it is a drop larger than your pie dish, and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. Even if you are using a pre-made crust, you still want to spread it out to the right size, and then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
6. Take tatin out of oven, and let apples cool off a bit. Once cooled, place crust on top, tuck the edges into the dish, and bake for 30 minutes or until crust has browned.
7. Remove from oven and let cool. Then, place a serving dish on top of the tarte and carefully flip over, so that the apples are facing up.
8. Serve warm, with crème fraîche (or vanilla ice-cream) on the side.
You can make your tatin ahead of time, just make sure that you place it on a dish that can go back in the oven, so that you can warm it up right before serving. You can serve it cold, but it does lose some of its charm!