An old favorite-Tarte Tatin
This is a Tarte Tatin made last weekend that I hadn't gotten around to posting till now. Tarte Tatin is a favourite of mine to make for it's delicious combination of baked apples and caramel, all sitting atop a base of buttery pastry. I've been making the tarte for many years, always using a shallow glass pie pan to bake it in. This time I decided to use an 8" cake pan to make it a bit higher to improve the overall appearance. Something else I altered from my usual method was to use an even richer caramel sauce for the coating rather than the simple sugar, water, and cream caramel sauce I've used in the past. The new sauce recipe is from Suas' "Advanced Bread & Pastry" which uses glucose, (I used corn syrup instead), sugar and water for the syrup, with the incorporation of butter and cream once the syrup has caramelized, a small change but with much better flavour and texture. The pastry used were some scraps of puff pastry I've had in the freezer for a few months. In fact it's having the scrap that quite often gives me the notion to make one of these in the first place as I can't think of a better way to use it up. If the scraps have been stacked together before freezing they should give adequate lift for this application. The apples and caramel tend to compact the pastry eventually anyway, so I've always thought using regular puff a bit wasteful for something like this, but no reason it couldn't be used. Once the sauce was made and had a chance to cool slightly it was poured into the pan and swirled around to coat the bottom and sides as evenly as possible, then thick slices of peeled Granny Smith apples were overlapped around the sides, interspersed with pieces of dried apricots to add some chew. The center of the pan was filled with more overlapping apple and apricot and a second layer was built on top of the first to fill the pan, pressing the apples down into the caramel. Out of personal preference I sprinkle some lightly toasted almond slices and cinnamon on top of the apples at this point for extra flavour and texture. The cold pastry was rolled out to slightly larger than the pan then draped over the apples, rolling the edge up all around and tucking it in around the sides. A steam vent was cut and the tart was baked at 350F/176C until the pastry was golden brown, then allowed to cool for 2 hours. After a 5-10 minute warming in a 200F/93C oven it was inverted onto a serving plate. If there is any residual sauce left on the plate it can be served with the tart immediately, or poured off and reserved to serve separately at a later time to keep the pastry from becoming soggy. Using the cake pan and the caramel sauce made a major improvement to the Tarte, resulting in a much better presentation and richer flavour compared to ones I've made previously.