In Which I Make Christmas Dessert

OK, so this post isn’t technically about an event – or a dish – that took place in my apartment. But I’m on vacation with family back East, and soon you’ll get to read about all the nice things that I got for Christmas back East that are going to go in the apartment, so it’s in some way vaguely connected, right…? Fallible logic aside, I made the dessert for Christmas dinner number one at my Grandma’s, a simple maple apple tarte tatin from Bon Appetit (to which my lovely father got me a subscription for Christmas! Woo hoo!).

First off, you prep your (pre-made and bought, unless you’re fancier than I am) puff pastry, then melt the maple syrup and butter together in a pan:

Maple butter melting.

Mmm…maple butter. I use Grade B as I hear it’s more “maple-y.”

Then you throw in some sugar and cook up your halved apples…

Caramelizing apple halves.

Caramelizing!

And finally plop on the puff pastry and bake! Easy peasy. It was good, too – I think the pastry could have been better, but that might have been because I rolled two sheets together, which I think was a mistake. It made it a little heavy, but the maple and caramel flavors, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, were just lovely.

Maple Apple Tarte Tatin

Omnomnomnom.

Maple Apple Tarte Tatin
From Bon Appetit, January 2012

As noted, I used grade B maple syrup, and made the mistake of lumping together two sheets of puff pastry, which I think made it a bit tough. I’m also not sure I cooked my caramel enough, as it was a bit liquidy (and spilled all over my Grandma’s stove) when I went to flip the tarte. A little rearranging later, however, it looked lovely, and regardless of my mistakes, tasted delicious.

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients:
1 14-ounce package all-butter puff pastry (preferably Dufour), thawed in refrigerator
All-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1″ pieces
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup sugar
5-6 Fuji, Pink Lady, or Honeycrisp apples (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, halved (I used Fuji and Honeycrisp)
Vanilla ice cream
 
Directions:

  1. Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll into a 12″ square about 1/8″ thick. Using a 12″ plate as a guide, cut out a 12″ round with a sharp paring knife. Transfer pastry round to a baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Swirl butter and maple syrup in a 12″ heavy ovenproof skillet over medium heat until butter melts. Sprinkle sugar over, evenly coating bottom of skillet. Add apples, cut side down; increase heat to medium-high and cook until sugar melts, occasionally swirling apples in pan, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook, continuing to swirl apples in pan, about 5 minutes longer. Flip apples (rounded side down), and cook, swirling apples occasionally, until syrup is thick and golden brown, 5-10 minutes longer.
  3. Cover apples with pastry round, tucking in edges of pastry. Bake until pastry is light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F; bake until pastry is puffed and deep golden, about 20 minutes longer.
  4. Let tarte Tatin cool for 15 minutes. Invert a serving plate over skillet. Using oven mitts, firmly hold plate and skillet and invert tarte onto plate. Remove skillet; rearrange apples if needed and scrape any caramel in skillet over. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.
Maple Apple Tarte Tatin

Maple Apple Tarte Tatin

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