As if the Pesto Goat Cheese Tomatoes, Pear Lettuce Salad, Rosemary Lemon Game Hens, Roasted Vegetables and Savory Couscous weren’t enough; I had to stuff my guests with a delicious and refreshing dinner party grande finale.
This recipe was one I have come to love and hate at the same time. It was originally intended to be a Pear Tart Tatin that was inspired by a recipe I found on Martha Stewart’s site. I figured since I was serving pears in the salad; why not incorporate them at the end. However, just a few hours before our guests arrived, I realized I made a couple of horrible mistakes that resulted in a messy brown pile of yuck! There was no way I was going to serve this to myself, much less to four other people.
I quickly turned to my refrigerator for additional ingredients to remake the recipe. One small problem caused me to scream like a little girl wearing a plaid green dress in church. I was out of pears! There was no time to run to the store, much less any guarantee it would turn out correctly the second time. So I crossed my fingers, and reached for the near expired apples hidden in my deep cavernous refrigerator. Since apples have a different flavor from pears, the recipe was completely changed to create something totally different.
Just like in Vegas, what happens in my kitchen stays in my kitchen. The dessert was amazing and full of rich apple flavor. We served a wonderful dessert wine and homemade ice cream to round out the end of a great evening with friends. Best of all, no one knew the near disaster ever happened. Well, until now.
Apple Tart Tatin
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 cup sugar
3 tsp. cider vinegar
3 Tbl. water
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbl. (1/2 lemon) lemon juice
2 Tbl. flour
1 ¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 – 3 granny smith apples, peeled and ¼” sliced
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 9″ round cake/pie baking dish with cooking spray. Toss the apples, lemon juice, flour and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl. Arrange the apples in a pretty pattern along the bottom of the pie pan. The dish will be turned upside down, so make it look good.
Heat the sugar, cider vinegar and water in a small sauce pan, over medium high heat. Allow the mixture to boil for about 12 – 15 minutes or until it turns a golden amber color. Swirl the mixture by moving the pan in a circular motion. DO NOT STIR. Slowly add the melted butter to the golden sugar syrup. Continue to swirl for an additional 1 – 2 minutes. Carefully and evenly pour the dark sugar syrup over the apples.
Lightly coat a cutting board with extra flour. Roll the puff pastry to approximately 12″ square. Drape the pastry over the apples and tuck the corners under. Try to avoid touching the sugar syrup. It will be hot.
Bake the tatin at 375 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for approximately 10 – 15 minutes. This step is important to allow the syrup to solidify. Flip onto a large platter to expose the apples before serving. Serves 6 – 8 people.
Authors Note: You can find puff pastry in the freezer section of your local grocery store. It is usually near the premade frozen cakes and ice cream novelties. Also, it’s important to keep the puff pastry cold. Thawing in the refrigerator overnight is best option.
Photo Note: The top photo shows the Apple Tart Tatin just after it was pulled out of the oven. The bottom photo shows the dessert flipped to expose the warm baked apples and served with homemade vanilla ice cream.