Thursday, October 6, 2011


"Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness." -- Jane Austen

I adore the fall. There's a crisp bite in the air and a soft cast in the afternoon sunlight. The change of season gives me a chance to bring out the cashmere and shop for new shoes.  But I can't think of anything that symbolizes the fall to me more than an afternoon of picking apples.  So I was absolutely thrilled to be invited to an apple picking party this past Sunday at a friend's orchard in Southampton. Between rows of apple trees, the hostess had set up a beautiful burlap covered table with glasses of chardonnay, hot apple cider and mini canapes to nibble on. Very, very chic! Needless to say, I had a fantastic time and picked my way through several glasses of wine and dozens of apples.  After sending a bushel off to school with my daughter and juicing a bunch for fresh apple juice, it seems I still have dozens of apples lining my kitchen shelves.  What to do?  A little french tarte tatin came to mind. I love the recipe below because it's easy and looks like you've slaved in the kitchen but you haven't.  
How do you like your apples-fresh off the tree or baked to perfection?

Apple Tarte Tatin
this recipe uses frozen puff pastry which saves so much time-
  • frozen puff pastry sheet (from a 17 1/4-ounce package)
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 7 to 9 Gala apples (3 to 4 pounds), peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cored

  • Special equipment: a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet

Preheat oven to 425°F.
1. Roll pastry sheet into a 101/2-inch square on a floured work surface with a floured rolling pin. 
Brush off excess flour and cut out a 10-inch round with a sharp knife, using a plate as a guide. 
Transfer round to a baking sheet and chill.
2. Spread butter thickly on bottom and side of skillet and pour sugar evenly over bottom. 
Arrange as many apples as will fit vertically on sugar, packing them tightly in concentric circles. Apples will stick up above rim of skillet.
3. Cook apples over moderately high heat, undisturbed, until juices are deep golden and bubbling, 18 to 25 minutes. (Don't worry if juices color unevenly.)
4. Put skillet in middle of oven over a piece of foil to catch any drips. 
Bake 20 minutes (apples will settle slightly), then remove from oven and lay pastry round over apples.
5.Bake tart until pastry is browned, 20 to 25 minutes. 
6.Transfer skillet to a rack and cool at least 10 minutes.

Just before serving, invert a platter with lip over skillet and, using potholders to hold skillet and plate tightly together, invert tart onto platter. Replace any apples that stick to skillet. (Don't worry if there are black spots; they won't affect the flavor of the tart.) Brush any excess caramel from skillet over apples. Serve immediately.

Cooks' note: ·Tart can cool in skillet up to 30 minutes. It can also stand, uncovered, up to 5 hours, then be heated over moderately low heat 1 to 2 minutes to loosen caramel. Shake skillet gently to loosen tart before inverting.

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious


jeanette from everton terrace said...

What a fabulous party idea. All I need is the orchard :)
I love apples, fresh or baked. My daughter's favorite desserts involve any baked fruit. Will be passing this recipe on to her!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I love the simple party your friend planned at the orchard, what a wonderful way to entertain will little stress. I love baking with apples and making homemade applesauce.

Taylor Greenwalt said...

What a great idea. Love baked fruit. Have you tried baked pears with goat cheese and honey. A little pine nuts, and rosemary and it is good. sounds odd, but good! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

lisaroyhandbags said...

oh my gosh - yum! I'm definitely making this on the weekend! I made an apple crisp this week and apple cake is next on my list.
The party sounds like a perfect afternoon gathering - how lovely to have an orchard!

I Dream Of said...

Looks delicious! Tarte-tatin is one of my favorite desserts ever. I'm cooking up a fall feast next week, and think I should add one to the menu! Thanks for the inspiration.

Katelyn @ Pure Panache said...

Looks so yummy! I too am a big fan of autumn. I went apple-picking a few weeks ago and made a big batch of homemade applesauce - my favorite! Have a fabulous day! Katelyn

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Yum!! My husband would be so hapy if I made this for him. It's his favorite.

JMW said...

What a fun party idea! Great event for fall and the recipes sound delicious!

pretty pink tulips said...

I have to make this!!! The smell of apples, butters and cinnamon....a fire roaring. Oh, I love fall!!!

xoxo Elizabeth

classic • casual • home said...

This looks fabulous and must make your home smell wonderful. I love the Jane Austen quote.

Splendid Market said...

One of my favorite desserts, absolutely the flavor of fall. I love to serve it with large dallops of creme fraiche ala and Calvados, ala the Normans.

5th and State said...

cannot wait to try! love a tartin but had a cold apple fresh from the tree today and that was really yummy

CDS said...

That is a fantastic party idea! xoxo

beachside cottage Linda said...

That looks scrumptious!

I will definitely have to try and make for the Hubby!

Thanks for sharing!


beachside cottage

The enchanted home said...

How fun! And what a beautiful time of year to do such a the idea!! I am sure the glasses of wine made it all that much more fun:) The recipe looks fantastic, printing it out as we speak and its going into my "blogland cookbook". I really do get the best recipes here in blogland!

Splendid Sass said...

You are killing me, Barbara.
This one gets moved to the front of the list!
Have a great weekend.

red ticking said...

d e l i c i o u s...... going to make it today xo

Jamie Herzlinger said...

Looks absolutely amazing! Adding it to my to-do list for this week!!

Jamie Herzlinger