La Tarte Des Demoiselles Tatin

September 27, 2009

I loooove apples.  My mom thinks I am going to make myself sick with how many I eat a day…. ” an apple a keeps the doctor away, Five apples a day makes you go to the doctor” is what she tells me!  Recently I have been volunteering for Marin Open Gardens.  Basically, I go to people’s houses who have an excess/abundance of fruit growing in their yards, harvest it for them and help them get ‘rid of’ it.  The organization gets rid of the fruit by donating it to the food bank, community events, and farmers market-like fruit exchanges all over the county.  It’s a lot of fun, I actually love to pick fruit…. and the best part?  All the fruit I get to end up with 🙂  So with peak apple season, it’s no wonder I’m drowning in sweet gravenstein apples at my house.  I could probably get rid of them all myself just by eating them raw, but I love baking with them too.  I’ve made some apple cakes, crostatas, and this particular french tart about six times.

My mom and I love this cute french cafe called The Butler and the Chef Bistro in San Francisco.  We always go there for lunch after shopping at our favorite clothing store.  Aside from their delicious and healthy entrees, the restaurant has spectacular authentic french desserts….. and they are a green business!!  Everything is done daily, and my mom and I go crazy over their apple tart tatin.  I knew she wanted me to make something like this, so I found this recipe from my newest obsession, Mastering the Art of French cooking by Julia Child.

This recipe is a real winner.  Delicious caramelized apple flavors with a wholesome, buttery crust.  Just like apple pie, but even better in my opinion. It is super easy too!  I’ve made the crust from scratch before, but I have also used a store bought crust just for the sake of time.  Aside from all the apple peeling and slicing, the tart can be in the oven in a matter of minutes.

La Tarte Des Demoiselles Tatin (Upside-down Apple Tart- hot or cold)

4lbs. firm cooking apples (golden delicious)- I used gravenstein apples

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Optional: 1tsp cinnamon- I used this

2 tbsp softened butter (for buttering your dish)

baking dish 9 to 10 inches in diameter and about 2 inches deep

1/2 cup granulated Sugar

6 tbsp melted butter

Quarter, core, and peel the apples; cut the quarters in half lengthwise into 1/8 inch thick slices. Toss in a bowl with the 1/3 cup of sugar and cinnamon. You should have about 10 cups of apples.

Butter the baking dish heavily, especially on the bottom.  Sprinkle half of the remaining sugar on the bottom of the dish and arrange 1/3rd of your apples over it.  Sprinkle with 1/3rd of your melted butter.  Repeat wit a layer of half the remaining apples and butter, then a final layer of apples and butter.  Sprinkle the rest of the sugar over the apples.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out your pie crust to a thickness of 1/8 inch, and cut it the size of the top of the baking dish.  Place it over the apples, allowing its edges to fall against the inside edge of the dish.  Cut 4 or 5 holes about 1/8inch long in the top of the pastry to allow cooking steam to escape.

Bake in the lower third of the preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes.  If the pastry begins to brown too much, cover it lightly with aluminum foil.  Tart is done when you tilt the dish and see that a thick, brown syrup rather than a light liquid exudes from the apples between the crust and the edge of the dish.

Immediately unmold tart onto a serving dish.  If the apples are not a light caramel brown, you can run it under a hot broiler for several minutes to caramelize the surface lightly.

Goes great with cream!