com Monday, October 13, 2008
molly’s apple tarte tatin
[Guest post by Molly] You remember Molly, right? This summer, she shared her secrets for awesome, dry-rubbed ribs. (I still dream about them, I really do.) Well, Molly also makes a killer apple tarte tatin, one of my favorite desserts and she was kind enough to come over to my apartment last week and demonstrate–you wouldn’t believe how amazing it smelled. Here she tells you how she did it, in her own words. Thanks Molly!
The beginning of apple season this year found me in Highlands, North Carolina. The Forest Service had just finished a new hiking trail, the trailhead just steps away from my parents’ cabin. Dad, Sophie the doggie and I hiked along the trail until it opened up into a rolling field with rows of huge old McIntosh apple trees–the remnants of an old farm, it seemed, with some abandoned garden flowers still blooming, even. The apple trees were long untended–even overgrown in places with blackberry brambles–but still
[Ed note: Aww. the Associated Supermarket on Avenue C. so he was thrilled. I made a baked apple dessert and 2 quarts of applesauce. When Deb tried my Tarte Tatin for the first time.
Back at the cabin. And. seemed gluttonous. except I make an all-butter pate brisée instead of their recommended combination of a half cup of butter and two tablespoons of vegetable shortening. We stopped and filled our backpacks. as it contains more than two sticks of butter. and I had a date to impress. it’s free food. The Greenmarkets are bursting with them. most desserts) from merely delicious to
. I use salted butter in both the apples and the pastry. It was time to make the Tarte Tatin. and even my humble neighborhood grocery.sagging with delicious fruit. largely thanks to the efforts of Smitten AKA the Best Houseguest Ever. Jocelyn invited a bunch of us over for wine and cheese recently.
Joy is the source for my Tarte Tatin recipe. more importantly. the first thing out of her mouth (besides “MMMMM!”) was. If there’s anything my Dad loves more than food in general. A savory element takes apple desserts (indeed. I would have to save it for another time. my favorite apple dessert. It was the end of a weekend of epic feasting. I’m still up to my ears in apples here in NYC.] So the thought of a Tarte Tatin. has piles of 5-pound bags of New York apples at bargainbasement prices.
Several weeks later. “Salted butter caramel?” Right on.
but our friend Alexis said that my pots and pans are heavier than the stainless currently produced by All-Clad under the same series name. I am lucky enough to have an array of vintage All-Clad. or the apples would stick. I am loathe to make it with any other piece of equipment.
I admit. at my disposal in the apartment. in fact. I had to start over. I am not sure when it was manufactured. and then they really WILL stick to the pan. Apples boiling in a cup of sugar and a stick of butter on the stove at HIGH heat for nearly 20 minutes?! One might think the caramel would burn. the recipe sounds kind of scary. As long as all your ingredients are very cold and you work quickly. I encourage all of you to try. weigh 2 ounces more than hers.addictively scrumptious. and since I
. Of course. If you wimp out and use lower heat. As for using all butter instead of a combination of butter and shortening in the crust. which belongs to my landladies. But have faith. (This happened to me once. your crust will be tender and flaky–no vegetable shortening is necessary. My extra-heavy Magic Pan might be the secret to the perfect Tarte Tatin. the apples will cook too slowly and they’ll start to disintegrate.
I’ve tried this recipe using both cast-iron and stainless steel skillets. Deb and I tested Alexis’ hypothesis on the Smitten Kitchen Digital Scale and found that mine did. While many people seem to assume a cast-iron skillet is best for making Tarte Tatin. I think the flavor is superior. I’ve had superior results with this All-Clad stainless steel pan.
Plus. If you don’t caramelize on the stovetop for long enough. Comment responses will be slow–if at all–this week. this is the Magic Pan we‘re talking about!) Another rejoinder: don’t skimp on the caramelization time. as everyone at Deb’s house on Thursday night will attest. Alex and I have flown the coop this week and are (hopefully) wandering around ancient cobblestone streets in a haze of wine and butter.don’t have a garbage disposal. the result is incredibly delicious. deep caramelization and burnt apples. cut into cubes and chilled in freezer 1 tablespoon sugar (optional) 1 1/2 cup flour 3 to 6 tablespoons ice water
. I couldn’t just switch to another pan–remember. but I have fortunately been cooking up enough of a storm that you should never be left without your smitten kitchen fix! Molly’s Apple Tarte Tatin Adapted from The Joy of Cooking Crust 1 stick plus two tablespoons cold salted butter (5 ounces). it’s true. because about 10 or 15 seconds can mean the difference between perfect. that meant figuring out how to dispose of a whole skillet full of blazing-hot sugary fruit. your Tarte Tatin will come out of the oven a gritty. runny. it was the very best part of Vice-President Debate Night!]
Two years ago: Classic Brownies Deb and Alex went to Paris and all I got was this awesome tarte tatin! Yes. [Ed note: Indeed. though. The upside: this recipe is a delight even for cooks who aren’t normally nuts about baking. the stovetop caramelization is a fragrant. You must watch the pan carefully. inedible mess. fascinating process.
cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Don’t cut them into smaller pieces than quarters–the quarters shrink considerably during cooking. Place them on their sides and overlap them so you can fit as many as possible. Shake/tap the pan so the butter-sugar mixture distributes evenly across the bottom. keeping them in their original places. but don’t worry–it will still cook through and no one will notice. Keep at least one extra apple quarter on hand–when you turn the apples over. Over low heat in a heavy. but it’s not necessary. Move the crust onto a piece of parchment paper or onto a floured rimless baking sheet. processing just until the dough starts to come together into a mass. Gala.” and it won‘t look smooth–you don’t want to overprocess it!) Turn out onto well-floured surface and pat together into a ball. Keep turning the dough as you do this to make sure it doesn’t stick to the rolling surface. Pre-mix the flour and sugar in the food processor container. ovenproof skillet measuring 7 to 8 inches across the bottom and 10 to 11 inches across the top.) 1 stick (4 ounces) salted butter 1 cup sugar Prepare Crust: I always use the food processor for this. McIntosh…use your favorite. Flour the top of the dough and use rolling pin to quickly press and roll the dough out into a 10 to 11-inch circle. (it won’t quite be a “ball. add an extra slice of apple to keep your arrangement intact. fresh and flavorful. Then put the dry ingredients and the butter in the freezer for a while. core and quarter the apples. Add the ice water a little at a time. or the warmth of your hands will start to melt the butter. Peel. turn apple slices over. This will get everything. Prepare filling: Preheat oven to 375° F. Return your pan to the stovetop on high heat. Throw more flour underneath the dough if necessary. This one piece won’t get quite as caramelized as the other pieces. add the sugar and stir until blended. You can squeeze a bit of lemon on them. including the blade and container. Remove from heat. Check the crust to make sure it’s just big enough to cover the top of your tarte tatin pan. If necessary. they may have shrunk to the extent that you’ll need to cheat and fill in the space with an extra piece. add the cubes of butter to dry ingredients and pulse until the largest pieces of butter are no bigger than tiny peas. Then fill the center of the pan. The colder everything is. and cube the butter on a plate. the flakier and more tender your crust will be. first making a circle inside the edge of the pan. Don’t handle the dough too much. but make sure they are very firm. nice and chilled. Let boil for 10 to 12 minutes or until the juices in the pan turn from golden in color to dark amber. melt the stick of butter. With the tip of a sharp knife. Arrange apple quarters in pan.Filling 7 medium apples (I’ve had good results with Granny Smith. Prepare about 1/3 cup ice water and refrigerate. After you’ve chilled everything for at least 20 minutes. Remove from heat. you may have some apple left over. Return to the
Place the crust on top of the apples and brush off excess flour. carefully put them back where they are supposed to be. get someone stronger and more coordinated than you to do this.stovetop on high heat once more.
. Peek under the edge of the pan to see if the Tarte came out. Let cook another 5 minutes and then remove from heat. Tuck edges under slightly. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack about 30 minutes. being careful not to burn fingers. Run a sharp knife along the inside edge of the pan. so use potholders and be careful! Don’t burn yourself or drop stuff! If you are feeble and clumsy. if you have to refrigerate it. You can use your knife. along the inside of the pan. If there are any pieces of apple left behind in the pan or otherwise out of place. warm it up slightly before serving for optimum enjoyment. about 25-35 minutes. Bake in oven until the top of the crust is golden-brown in color. The pan will still be hot. Place a plate or other serving dish on top of the pan and quickly flip over the whole shebang so the Tarte Tatin drops down onto the plate. Voila! A beautiful TREAT! This keeps well for about a day at room temperature. You may need to bop the bottom of the pan with your potholder-encased fist for this to happen.