Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cinnamon Tarte Tatin

It was sooo hard to wait until the weekend. I have been thinking about Tarte Tartin for 5 days now.

I knew it is not the easiest "tart" in the world, but it must be one of the most delicious one. I read tons of recipes and watched hundreds of videos and on Saturday morning I took a deep breath and started. 


200g flour
200g butter, room temperature
2-3 tablespoon water
6 apples
0,5 dl apple brandy / eau de vie / firewater / p├ílinka 
1 small package of vanilla sugar


Making the tart was the easiest part of the whole recipe. Knead together 200 g flour, 100 g butter and 2-3 tablespoon water and you already have the traditional, easy tart dough.


I had 6 apples I peeled them, took the seeds out and cut them into quarters. Yeah, that's right, this part was also not that difficult.


Here comes the hard part. :))) All Tarte Tartin recipes describes this part a little differently. Finally, I decided to try David Lebovitz "perfect caramel". The post has a great tutorial with photos and tips. It seemed like an easy ride. :)))

To cut to the chase, here is what I should had to do:

1. Pick a saucepan way larger than the caramel you want to make. 
2. Pick a saucepan that has metal handle.
3. Heat it a little bit lower than medium. 
4. Be very-very patient. Do not stir it until the almost all sugar has been melted. 

I kind of forgot the last two, so you can see left-hand side the result of my first attempt. The sugar got crystallized instead of melting. According to David you can still save it, by turning the heat to very low. Or just start all over again as I did. :))) Second time was much better. I was very-very-very patient and managed to fulfil all conditions. :)))

After the sugar melted and reach a nice amber brown I poured the apple brandy in it cause I remembered I had some leftover from the previous apple tart. There was some sizzle (no stirring), but it eventually calmed down. :))


When the caramel is ready I put the apples in the saucepan. I sprinkled them with cinnamon ('cause I loooove cinnamon and apples together) and vanilla sugar. I also cut the remaining butter into cubes and dropped them onto the apples. According to the original Tarte Tatin recipe you have to cook the apples in the saucepan until they got just a little soft. 


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (390 Fahrenheit). Roll out the dough about 3-5 cm (1-2 inch) larger than the saucepan, where the apples are cooking. If the apples are ready, cover them with the dough and put the saucepan in the oven. See that is why you need a saucepan with a metal handle. Bake the "tart" for about 20 minutes until the dough is still light brown. 

When the "tart" is ready, you should immediately overturn it to a large platter. Some hot apple juice will escape so pay attention. 


I have a feeling that I might choose the wrong kind of apple. I only had Gala and Golden. During cooking them in the saucepan there was too much juice. Even after I took them out from the oven. So the tart got wet and the apples were not caramelized properly. The taste was awesome, but the only slice I could managed to get out was the one on the photo. We has to eat the other 'slices' with a spoon. 

Any suggestions, which apple I should have chosen? 

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