Honey Apple Tarte Tatin

09 October 2012

Here's a new twist an old French favorite. Despite appearances (and the long instructions), this lovely dessert it's a snap to pre- pare and makes the best of tart, apples. And, it's all the sweeter for not using any sugar.

CRUST

Prepare a batch of your favorite flaky pie crust and set aside in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 1 hour (or as long 3 days).

FILLING

8 medium apples

2 Tablespoons honey wine vinegar

1 cup honey

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more, to taste)

a pinch of salt

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Select a 10 to 12 inch oven safe skillet (a well seasoned cast iron or non-stick pan does nicely) and set it on the stove so it's ready to go. Combine the honey and the butter in a bowl and whip with a spatula until thoroughly blended and set aside. Peel and core the apples and cut them into quarters–if they're small, wedges –if they're not. When the apples are cleaned and sliced, coat the pan with honey wine vinegar and warm it over medium heat. Working quickly, arrange the apple slices in concentric circles beginning at the outside edge and building into the center. Feel free to over lap them, they will shrink as they cook. If necessary, lower the the temperature so the liquid doesn't evaporate completely while you're arranging the apples. When your apples are in the pan cover them evenly with the honey butter mixture and bringing the whole dish up to simmer for 20 minutes or so, keeping an eye on it it so it doesn't scorch. Do not stir!

Pull your pie crust dough from the fridge as soon as your apples begin to simmer so it has time to warm up. About 10 minutes into the cook time for the apples, roll out your crust. It should be about a quarter of an inch thick and exceed the diameter of your pan by at least an inch.

By now your honey, apple, butter mixture should be golden brown, caramelized and bubbling. When the honey and the liquid released by the apples are reduced by half (20-30 minutes) remove the pan from the heat. As soon as the bubbling subsides, tighten the circles of apples toward the center of the pan and sprinkle the them with the cinnamon and salt. Lay your rolled pie crust on top of the apples, folding the edges inward and gently tucking them down around the inside edges of the pan. Cut 4 to 6 vents in the top and put the pan in the oven to bake for 30-45 minutes or until the crust in golden brown. Allow your tart to rest for 5 minutes then prepare for the flip!

Put place that's larger than the pan on top of the pan. Using kitchen towels to protect your hands. Grab hold the pan and the plate and with one motion, invert the pan onto the plate. Wait a few moments for the carmel to drip off the pan and remove it from the plate to reveal the tart.