Adapted from Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child
This is the famous upside-down Apple tart. The mélange of flavors is spectacular: the crust, the baked apples, the caramel…I had once attempted the tarte tatin by following the recipe of another book but it didn’t come out to well; I lacked culinary experience and the utensils. However, this time it really came out well. We were all delighted and I would definitely make it again. It is a good dinner party dessert.
- ¾ cups flour
- ¼ cup cake flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 oz (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted buter, diced
- 2 tbsp chilled vegetable shortening
- ¼ cup ice water
- Drop the flours, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse 6 times to break up the butter.
- Add the shortening, turn on the machine and immediately pour in the ice water, pulsing 3 times.
- Remove the cover. The dough should look like a mass of smallish lumps and should just hold in a mass when you press a handful together. If it’s too dry, pulse in droplets of water.
- Turn the dough onto your work surface. With the heel of your hand, rapidly and roughly push egg-size blobs out in front of you. Gather the dough into a relatively smooth cake. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- 6 Golden Delicous apples
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1½ cup sugar, divided
- 6 tbsp butter
- Chilled dough (recipe above)
- Preheat the oven to 425F (218C).
- Slice the halves of the cored and peeled apples into 4 lengthwise wedges each. Toss the apple slices with the lemon zest, lemon juice and ½ cup of sugar. Macerate for 20 minutes, then drain.
- Heat the butter in a heavy ovenproof 9-inch skillet over high heat. Stir in the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Cook until the syrup bubbles and turns caramel-brown.
- Off the heat, arrange a layer of apple slices in a neat pattern on the caramel coating. Arrange the rest of the apples fairly neatly on top.
- Return over medium-high heat. Cook for about 25 minutes, covering the pan after 10 minutes. Press down on the apples every several minutes as you baste them with exuded juices. Remove from heat when the juices are thick and syrupy.
- Roll the chilled dough into a circle, 3/16 inch thick and 1 inch larger than the top of the skillet. Drape it over the apples, pressing the edge of the dough between the apples and the inside of the skillet. Cut 4 small steam holes on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until the pastry has browned and crisped.
- Unmold onto a serving dish so that the pastry is on the bottom.
Comments: For this recipe, the ovenproof skillet is essential. The first time I attempted at making a tarte tatin, a major problem I had was that I didn’t have the right skillet; that complicated things. I especially like this tart hot, but it is also good warm or even cold. I do not like eating desserts with whipped cream or ice cream, but it is suggested in the book. My parents tried it with vanilla ice cream and liked it.