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.


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


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

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

  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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