"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