September 30, 2013
Tarte Tatin (Apple Tart) with Cider Cream
Varietal: Dessert Wines (Late-Harvest Riesling or Port)
Serves 6 to 8
The founder of Seattle’s venerable Grand Central Baking Company, Gwen Bassetti, is the grandmère of Northwest bakers, a cookbook author (“Cooking with Artisan Bread,” Sasquatch Books, 1998), and an accomplished farmer/rancher. She likes to pair her French apple-tart recipe with either “a bright Late-Harvest Riesling or (in wintertime) a nice slice of Cheddar and a little Port.”
1 sheet (half of a 17.3-ounce package) frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
2 3/4 pounds (about 8 medium, 2 1/2-inch diameter) Granny Smith, Newton, or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into quarters
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cider Cream (Recipe follows)
1. Roll the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8-inch thickness and cut it into a 12-inch circle. Discard the scraps. Cover and chill the pastry dough until ready to use.
2. In a large bowl, toss the prepared apples with the lemon juice.
3. Melt the butter in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (such as cast iron) over low heat. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the melted butter. Increase the heat to medium-low or medium and cook slowly, stirring once or twice with a wooden spoon or shaking the pan occasionally, until the mixture begins to turn a light golden color, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully stir in the vanilla.
4. Place a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F.
5. Starting at the outside edge of the skillet, arrange the apple quarters on their sides, in two concentric circles so they fit in as tightly as possible. Return the skillet to the stove and cook over medium heat until the juices thicken and turn a light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Remove the prepared pastry circle from the refrigerator. Drape the pastry over the apples and tuck the edges around the edge of the skillet.
7. Place the skillet on the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the pastry is a rich, golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and let cool in the skillet for 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge of the skillet to loosen the pastry. Place a serving plate over the skillet and invert the tart onto the plate. If the apples stick to the pan, arrange them back on the tart.
9. Serve the tart warm or at room temperature with a dollop of the Cider Cream.
1 cup good-quality apple cider or 1/4 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Bring the apple cider to a boil in a small saucepan. (If using apple juice concentrate, skip this step and begin with the next step.) Cook until the mixture is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
2. In a chilled mixing bowl, whisk the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in the reduced cider (or the apple juice concentrate). Use immediately, or keep refrigerated until ready to use, up to three days.