Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Julia's Upside-Down Apple Tart

6 medium apples (Golden Delicious or Granny Smiths), I used Golden
a squeeze of lemon juice
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup sugar, divided
1 sheet of Puffed pastry, chilled
A 9-inch ovenproof skillet *

* If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, cook the apples on the stove and transfer them to a 9-inch round baking dish, along with all of their caramel before topping them with the pastry and baking them in the dish. Invert as you would the skillet.

Peel apples and cut into quarters. Toss apple chunks with the lemon juice and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Set aside for 15 minutes; this will help release the apple’s juices otherwise if there is too much juice, then the caramel will not thicken enough to cling to the cooked apples.

Melt butter in your skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 cup sugar and whisk it over the heat until it becomes a light caramel color, 5-10 minutes. Once you achieve this pale caramel color, add the apples to the skillet, arranging them rounded sides down in one layer. Lay any additional apple wedges rounded sides down in a second layer, starting from the center.

Cook the apples in the caramel for another 20 minutes over moderately high heat. With a spoon, regularly press down on the apples and baste them caramel juices from the pan (The apples should be basted with the syrupy juices the whole time they’re on the stove, and you shouldn’t skimp there either or they won’t cook through.) Shift the pan as necessary so that the apples cook evenly. They are ready when the liquid in the pan has turned to a thick, amber ooze. The apples should still be slightly firm. Do not allow them to get entirely soft or the liquid to turn dark brown. Remove the pan from the heat.

Preheat oven to 400. On a floured surface, roll out your puffed pastry to a 9-inch circle and trim if needed. Cut a vent in the center of the pastry. Arrange the pastry round over the apples. Tuck it in around the apples for nicer edges than mine. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.

Once baked, use potholders to place a plate or serving dish (larger in diameter than the pan) over the pasty and with a deep breath and a quick prayer, unmold the pastry and apples at once onto the plate. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and eat immediately.

Source: Julia Child, VIDEO  , but this modified recipe is from Smitten Kitchen

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