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Traditional French Tarte Tatin

by Emilie Johnson

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup sugar (for the caramel)
  • 8 apples (Golden Delicious, Fuji, Gala)
  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • 2.5 cups unsalted butter
  • 17.5 ounces water
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 9 ounces pie crust
  • Tablespoon or 2 of apricot jam

DIRECTIONS

1. GATHER INGREDIENTS

2. PEEL THE APPLES: cut them into quarters and remove the seeds 

 3. CARAMELIZE THE SUGAR:

a. Make a caramel using the 3/4 cup of sugar. In 3 or 4 rounds, add small amounts of the sugar into a pan over medium heat. As one part of the sugar becomes liquified, add the next. Avoid stirring too much with a spatula so that the sugar does not set in a mass. To move the caramel/sugar around in the pan, lift is from the heat and tilt it to cover the non-caramelized sugar with the liquid caramel. The ideal color is amber - this is the sign the caramel should be removed from the heat.
b. When the caramel is amber colored, pour it into a pie mold, trying to distribute it as evenly as possible to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Let the caramel cool so that it hardens.

4. POACH THE APPLES

a. In a large saucepan, add the 2.5 cups of sugar, 2.5 cups of butter, the 17.5 ounces of water and the vanilla.
b. When the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved, stir the mixture well. From here, poach the apple quarters in several batches, about 10 minutes for each series. Turn the quarters 2 or 3 times while poaching. The apples should be slightly translucent, and a knife should slice through them without resistance. They should not be mushy.
c. When one batch is ready, put the quarter aside to cool and start another batch.

5. GARNISH THE PIE:

a. Garnish the pie mold with the apple quarters, placing them on their edge and push the slices together, compressing them. 
b. Apples reduce in the process of baking, so do not hesitate to pack them together. The poaching will make it easy to do this.
c. When the apples have been laid out, tamp them down evenly, compacting them in the mold.

6. LET IT REST:

a. Let the apples and caramel rest, ideally for one day, at minimum a few hours.

7. PIE CRUST:

a. On the day of baking, roll out the pastry and cut a circle the size of the inside of the mold plus 3/4 inch.
b. Place this circle of dough on the apples. Press the circle of the dough in order to put it directly in contact with the apples and seal the edges of the dough with the edges of the mold.
c. Prick the dough with a fork.
d. Crimp the dough by pressing the edges of the dough on the mold, further pressing the seam.

 

8. BAKE:

a. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.

9. FLIPLet the tart completely cool before flipping it over.

10. GLAZEGlaze the tart with the apricot jam (slightly warmed). 

Voilà: Enjoy!

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