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Suvir Saran

The Tarte Tatin Topic

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Depends on the apples. I like mine still in one piece. I scarecly cook it on the stovetop at all.

I just turn the apple around in the hot caramel on the stove so that they are coated, then whack on the top and put it in a hot oven until the top browns - 20 mins or so

Get the caramel fairly dark, otherwise it is too sweet.

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I don't cook the apples at all on the stove top. I've been using Lindsey Shere's recipe from "Chez Panisse Desserts" for years and have ususally had great results.

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After experiencing the same angst you're encountering, I became a practitioner of tarte Tatin cheating.

I use whole cored and peeled apples (the cored inside parallel to the bottom of the skillet) and I make a separate pot of caramelized sugar which I pour into the bottom of the skillet and also over the apples. I then place the skillet with the apples in the oven on a baking sheet (to catch drips) to brown . To ensure a good compact form I place a clean baking sheet on top of the apples with weights (foil wrapped bricks work well). The baking time is about 25 to 30 minutes in a 350 to 400 degree oven, but you best check how things are progressing at the 15 minute mark as every oven is different. You may also find yourself having to pour off some liquid depending on the type of apple you use. I prefer either Cortland, Rome Beauty, Northern Spy, Winesap or Granny Smith apples depending on what looks firmest at the grocer's. These varieties have a higher cellulose content and have less possibility of becoming mush. Once the apples are nearly finished you remove the top baking sheet and cover the skillet with your pastry dough and cook until golden brown.

Another "anti-stovetop" method can be found in the Epicurious Tarte Tatin Recipehttp://food.epicurious.com/run/recipe/view?id=15561.

Best of luck.

Gabriel Pereira

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I use plain old red delic. apples peeled, halved and cored-make sure your apples are packed to overflowing the pan. To cook on stove top after the butter and sugar melts you must keep the apples moving in the pan; give the handle of your sautee pan a yank every now and then

until you see the apples "spin" on the caramel. As the caramel darkens you can lower the heat and peek at the apples by lifting one up with tongs. Usually you will find a hot spot on one side of the pan-keep an eye on it so ya don't burn the apples/caramel. Cooking time varies on burner output, size of tart, etc.... but you will smell it.

Cool and top with pastry, bake, you can also spin the tart again occasionally in the oven to make sure it's not sticking and burning.

Cool before turning out to keep the caramel on/in the tart-just give enough heat on a burner to loosen and invert.

hth, danny

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While in France many years ago my hostess gave me permission in perpetuity to cheat on Tarte Tatin. She said that she, too, had had many failures, until someone taught her this method.

I make a healthy amount of caramel in the bottom of my skillet. Then I arrange pealed, cored, halved apples on end to firmly pack the skillet. I brush the apples then with butter -- sometimes sprinkling them with cinnamon-sugar, but not always -- and allow them to cook for fifteen or so on the stovetop. Sometimes the apple gods will decide to screw with you and there will be too much liquid. Spoon off some, but not all, of the liquid, then finish cooking the apples in a hot oven.

While the apples are cooking, I cut a piece of puff pastry -- yes, not pastry dough -- to the size of the skillet, brush it with egg wash and dust it with pearl sugar, then bake it off in the hot oven until puffed and golden brown. Invert the pastry onto the apples, then invert the whole thing (carefully) onto a platter, and serve with Glace de Fromage Blanc or a dab of whipped creme fraiche.


Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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Another approach to "cheating" is to follow your original technique, but just make sure you don't overdue the stovetop cooking at the beginning. Then, after the tart is out of the oven, finish cooking on the stovetop. If you are unsure if it is done, invert onto a plate in your usual way, look at it, and invert it right back into the pan for more caramelizing if need be.


Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

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Hi. I'm using my mom's account and hope to have my own sometime soon.

I spent the summer in France at Anne Willan's chateau as a trainee and one of the dishes her Chef de Cuisine, Randall Price, demonstrates for classes is his Tarte Tatin. His method is very similar to the stovetop methods, but he does one thing that blew me away the first time I saw it, but really makes a whole lot of sense. I'm going to try to explain this the best I can.

After peeling the apples, use a melon-baller to remove the top and bottom of the whole apple. Then slice the apple in half and use the baller to seed the apple, leaving about half a centimeter of the tough part of the core that is above and below the seeds. So now if you are looking at the halved apple, you will have three scoops, seperated by a tiny bit of core.

The middle of the apple has the majority of the pectin, so by leaving this bit, you are adding to the thickness of your caramel and you won't notice the toughness of this part of the apple because it cooks down. After the apples were placed in the caramel and cooked for what seemed like forever (we didn't remove any of the apple juice, even though it makes a big mess), we slapped a round of pate brisee on top, stuck the pan in the oven, and cooked it until the crust was done (I don't remember how long this was. I was too busy staring with horror at the caramel that I knew I was going to have to clean off of the stove-top).

Hope this little tip helped. I thought it was pretty funky.

Andrew King

andrewpking@yahoo.com

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The secret to a good tatin is to peel the apples 24 hours in advance so that some of the liquid in the fruit evaporates. This then reduces the dilution of the caramel by the fruit and produces a superior result.

Your question no doubt will be "how do I prevent oxidization", to which the answer is "you don't, the fruit will be caramelised so it doesn't matter". And in case you think I've gone insane, this method comes to you courtesy of Michelin starred chef at Petrus restaurant in London, Marcus Wareing.

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I have always had good success with the stovetop/oven method. I will slice up the apple(not just half it or quarter it) and arrange it around in the pan on top of the butter and the sugar. I don't like moving it once I've arranged it in the pan but I will rotate the pan on the stove. I'll cook it for about fifteen minutes until it is somewhat brown but not real dark otherwise it will start to burn on you, so watch your heat.

Then I'll put the pastry on and cook in the oven for about 18 to 20 minutes.

Comes out perfectly golden virtually every time. Only time I lost it was when I had to go away from the stove to chase down the niece and nephew.

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Was just poring over the welcome thread for tarka and was taken back to my last tarte tatin...over at fleure en l'ile cafe in paris. does anyone have what they believe to be the best tarte tatin recipe?

i've tried numerous, and found the best one so far to be one from the roux brothers - in the pastry techniques book if im not mistaken. the recipe is not here with me, however the differentating factor is that tons of butter is spread over the bottom of the pan (preferably a pan with a 90 degree angle), then tons of sugar, then the apples, then the dough - on the burner for a while, and then fnished in the oven. when you get the temperature right - it is impeccable.

i'd love to try other recipes.

-che

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Tartes tatin are normally made by ewindels when they are had at our house, but when I do make them I've always done so by cooking the butter and sugar together in the pan until the caramel is appropriately dark, then putting in the fruit (I've done apple, pear and mixed tartes tatin), cooking/basting the fruit in the pan until the liquid starts getting syrupey, then slapping on the pastry crust and finishing it in the oven.


--

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wonderful flavour i discovered back in NY, at a restaurant called "le zoo" in the west village was a pear tarte tatin infused with sage. it was the first time i called out the chef to discuss the recipe - and she did. her name was melissa...:)

these were individual tarte tatins, no more than 2 - 2 1/2 inches diameter, and she placed a sage leafat the bottom of the mold, then removed it before serving with excellent vanilla ice cream....hmmm, melissa.

-che

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the last one I made was a bit hodge-podge but was so good I will make it this way from now on. Made the caramel in a saucepan (quite a lot of it, can't remember but maybe 4oz sugar), poured it into the bottom of the (metal, oval) baking dish. chunks of peeled cored Braeburns over that, dotted with quite a lot of echire unsalted butter and then a sprinkle of salt. Baked for about half an hour slowly, then tucked in puff pastry and blasted the heat up. Slow cooking made the apples tender and translucent. woo yeah. it's great for breakfast.


Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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I think it's important (and simpler) to cook the apples and sugar butter together - preferably in a straight-sided saute pan - that way you get an apple flavoured caramel, rather than caramel with apples. Also - you need that caramel to darken sufficently. Too many people under cook their tatins.

I use the larousse method. About 200g butter, 200g sugar!

[edit to add: bad people for posting this here!]


Edited by MobyP (log)

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Pate brisee is, I think, the traditional one to use, though I much prefer puff.

I've always found that quick puff pastry (or rerolled scraps) actually gives a better (less soggy) result than virgin puff pastry.

Tatins, to me, are a divine example of few ingredients intermingling very well - and when warm and slightly congealed are just about my favourite dessert.

I find russet apples give the best result - any opinions?


Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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And Moby - I agree completely... you need that slightly bitter burnt caramel edge to it - undercaramelised tatins are a disappointment.


Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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And Moby - I agree completely... you need that slightly bitter burnt caramel edge to it - undercaramelised tatins are a disappointment.

Exactly - you want to be living on the edge - like when you can smell ionised air before a storm - you want to just taste the first tinge of burnt sugar.

I'm going to pass this one over so the other kids can play as well.

Oh, and definitely puff.


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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This is SO cruel to start this up nearly four months before apple season! But, since it has been started, I have to say that Large Apple Halves, cooked for a Long Time in the ButterSugar in order to achieve an Apple Caramel (as Moby states) in a Straight-Sided Pan (as Moby states), then pouring the Caramel off and cooking down in a Separate Pan until achieving the Proper Consistency, adding back to the Apples and, as much as I hate to admit it (for lack of tradition, to which I prefer to adhere), baking the Puff Pastry on its own and inverting the Finished Apples onto the disc of Beautifully Browned Puff Pastry.

Che, you are soooo cruel! I'm not going to make it through the summer! Not only do I love to eat it, it is one of the most satisfying things to make.

Oh, one necessity when making Tarte Tatin (for me, at least): cover the hob/burner with aluminum foil!


kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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*howls with anguish*

heresy!

how on earth can you contemplate cooking the pastry separately?

*keening noise*

that's akin to making a stew by making the gravy and then tossing pre-cooked lumps of beef in it and warming it through before serving.


Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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I think it's important (and simpler) to cook the apples and sugar butter together - preferably in a straight-sided saute pan - that way you get an apple flavoured caramel, rather than caramel with apples. Also - you need that caramel to darken sufficently. Too many people under cook their tatins.

I agree completely. The best I've made use TONS of butter (about 12 Tbs as I recall). I made it in an LC saute pan, heavy and rounded corners.The restraint of pate brisee was needed. More flakes would just detract from the caramel soaked, no caramelized, apples. I think the recipe was from Saveur.

What are your favorite apples for tatin? I usually use Winesaps, Northern Spies or IdaReds for preference, Grannies when the others aren't available.


"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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i feel i must apologise for starting this topic, yet the true culprit is tarka. ;)

very succintly said by moby - you need to feel "the first tinge of burnt sugar"; and as for the pastry, puff. a little caramel has to get stuck to the edge of your teeth. when i make it chances are i'll do short for ease, but the best tatins i've had always lounge on golden puff.

as for the apples i tend to go for cox's - they seem to be the most aromatic. i grew up with an apple tart which stole my heart at an early age which uses granny smith's and i thus favor them for my apple tarts...but the tatin, that needs apples willing to both give in and provide to the caramel.

kitwilliams - CBear is right, you're committing a crime with your "pastry on the side" method. probably worse than slicing your apples...or maybe not.

-che


Edited by CheGuevara (log)

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dammit, now I'm going to have to make a red onion Tarte Tatin, served warm with salad,for a summer evening supper.

Also good with fennel for the summer, Lots of roast veg make good TTs...cut the caramel with vinegar, or omit and just use the veg juices.

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