One nice thing about autumn—among many, including great weather for sleeping in a tent—is the abundance of apples. When we were kids, the family would go to an orchard on a Sunday, spend that day picking apples (at 7 cents a pound), come home, and spend the rest day peeling and quartering said apples, which my mom would use to make apple pies for the winter. Being young and stupid (I’m no longer young), I would gorge myself on apple peels, and have the trots for the following week. (TMI? Hey, it’s all about the sharing.)
Anyhow, I’ve tried making apple pies a few times since then, with little success. Same thing with Tartes Tatin, little success. Until I came across this recipe:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 7-9 Gala apples
- Pâte feuilleté
That’s it, that’s all. Turn oven to 425F. Peel, core, and quarter the apples. Melt the butter in an oven-safe (10-inch) pan, and dissolve the sugar. Place the apple quartes in the pan, turn heat to medium-high, and cook, undisturbed, for about 20 minutes. Place pan in oven and cook for another 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, roll out your pâte feuilleté to fit the pan. (I can make bread with my eyes closed. Pastry, on the other hand, is my kryptonite. So I buy mine.) I’ve seen comments of how the Tatin sisters would have an embolism if you use anything but pâte brisée. To which I say, big fucking deal, they’re dead. Time to move on.
Take the pan out of the oven; the apples should start to look really nice right about now, with the caramelisation stuff and all that. Place the dough over the top of the apples, push it down to fit any dimples, and, again, cook for another 20-25 minutes. What you’ll get is something like this.
Let it cool, flip it over, and enjoy. Especially with a dollop of crème fraiche. Sweet, acidic, slide-down-your-throat crème fraiche.