Tasting Table National: Tarte Tatin

To learn more about this recipe, see our related feature, Best Pastry Chefs 2012.

Recipe adapted from Lauren Fortgang, Little Bird, Portland, OR

Apple Tarte Tatin
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Tarte Tatin from Lauren Fortgang, Little Bird, Portland, OR
Servings
9
tarte Tatin
Ingredients
  • Vanilla Crème Fraîche
  • 1 cup / 8 ounces / 225 grams crème fraîche
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  •  
  • Dough
  • 1 cup / 4½ ounces / 128 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons / ¾ ounce / 20 grams sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon / ¼ ounce / 1½ grams kosher salt
  • 9 tablespoons / 4½ ounces / 130 grams unsalted butter, cold and cut into ½-inch cubes, divided
  • 3 tablespoons / 1½ ounces / 45 grams ice water, plus more if necessary
  •  
  • Filling
  • 5 tablespoons / 2½ ounces / 70 grams water
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons / 8 ounces / 225 grams granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons / 1½ ounces / 45 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon / ¼ ounce / 1½ grams salt
  • 3 tart baking apples, such as Granny Smith--peeled, cored and sliced into thin wedges
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche and the vanilla-bean seeds until medium-stiff peaks form. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add 8 tablespoons of the cubed butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Slowly add water until the dough just comes together.
  3. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll into a 10-inch circle. Transfer the parchment-sandwiched dough to a large plate or baking sheet and freeze.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 9-inch baking dish or pie pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and set aside.
  5. In a medium saucepan, pour 5 tablespoons of water over the sugar (enough to make the sugar look like wet sand) and carefully stir once with a wooden spoon. Place over high heat and cook, without stirring, until the sugar begins to caramelize, 2 to 3 minutes. Once the sugar has caramelized, swirl the pan occasionally, until the caramel turns an amber color, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and the salt and pour into the prepared baking dish. Lay the apple wedges on top of the caramel.
  6. Remove the dough from the freezer and peel one side of parchment paper off. Invert the dough on top of the apples and peel off the other layer of parchment. Trim off the overhang so the dough just covers the baking dish.
  7. Place the tarte Tatin in the oven and bake the crust until the top is browned, about 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Run a paring knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the tarte Tatin, Place a serving dish on top of the tarte Tatin (make sure it's larger than the width of the baking pan) and, using oven mitts, firmly grip either side of the tarte Tatin and flip it over. Let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes before lifting the baking dish off. Serve the tarte Tatin warm with the cold vanilla crème fraîche.
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