Persianized Tarte Tatin

3 12 2009

Mmmmmm. Tarte Tatin. But with a Persian twist. This Thanksgiving I was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, My Persian Kitchen, who introduced the concept of Persianizing. I normally make the a praline, crumble-topped pumpkin pie and an apple caramel pie for Thanksgiving, but this year I wanted to go the French route and make a tarte tatin. Really you can’t go wrong with a tarte tatin. It’s not only so tasty, but it is elegant and beautiful. One of the great things about tarte tatin is that it only calls for one crust, so you have enough pâte brisée — a beautiful butter crust —  to make two whole tarts.

Well after making my first tarte tatin of the season, I was inspired as I said. And this was the result…

I hope you find a little time to make this sometime this holiday season. I guarantee it’s worth much more than the very minimal effort required to bake this beauty.

Ingredients:

Pate Brisee:

  1. 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp salt
  3. 1 tsp sugar
  4. 2 sticks (1 cup) of cold butter, cut into small pieces
  5. 1/2 cup of ice cold water

Apples:

  1. 2.5 medium sized baking apples (I used Braeburn)
  2. 1 cup of sugar
  3. 2 tbsp water
  4. A splash of lemon juice
  5. 4 tbsp of butter, cut into small pieces
  6. 4-7 cardomom pods
  7. A generous pinch of saffron

To make the tarte tatin, you will first need to make the pâte brisée. This needs to chill for at least an hour, so you may want to make this the day before.

  • To begin, put the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse for a couple seconds to really get all the dry ingredients sifted and well-incorporated.
  • Add the butter (make sure it’s very cold) and pulse for about 10 seconds until you have a coarse meal.
  • Turn on the food processor and slowly stream in anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the ice water until the dough just holds together. Make sure you don’t over process.
  • Remove the dough from the processor and use your hands to form it into a ball.
  • Divide the ball of dough into 2 equal halves, forming each half into a disc.
  • Wrap each disc of dough in plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Overnight is best if you can swing it.

When the dough has been chilling for at least an hour, you can start making the  caramelized apples.

  • Preheat your oven to 425F.
  • Generously butter a pie plate.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, grind up the cardamom into a coarse powder and grind the saffron with a pinch of sugar into a powder. I like to leave a few strands of saffron unground. They look so pretty adorning the apples when all is said and done.
  • Peel the apples and core them then cut them into 6 pieces each.
  • In a small saucepan add the sugar, water and lemon juice and put it on high heat. You’re going to want to bring this to a boil, stirring all the while.
  • Once the sugar is boiling, add the saffron and cardamom and continue stirring on high heat until the mixture is a nice medium-colored caramel. You want it to be the color of a nice clover honey.
  • Remove the sugar from the stove and pour it into the pie plate. Working quickly, add the 4tbsp of butter on top of the sugar mixture, making sure the pieces are distributed evenly.
  • Then take the apple pieces and arrange them round-side down (this part is very important to get the right look) in the pie plate. I like to put all of the pieces in a circle going around the perimeter of the pie plate with a slightly larger, more round piece in the center.
  • Now, it’s time to roll out the dough. First lightly flour your surface.
  • Take one of the discs of dough and put it on your surface. I like to let it rest for just a minute or two to make it easier to work with.
  • Roll the dough out into a circle that is about 1/4 inch thick and large enough to cover the pie plate.
  • Gently pick up the dough and place it on top of the pie plate, making sure the entire plate is covered. I like to cut the edges of the dough so that the dough is a nice round the exact size of the pie plate.
  • Put the tart in the oven for 25 minutes, until the crust is a nice golden color.
  • While the tart is in the oven, get a platter on which you want to place the tart and have it ready. Also, make sure  you have a baking dish with a bit of a lip handy. When you flip the tart, the caramel is going to splatter all over the place. Trust me on this. You’re going to need something to catch the stuff.
  • When the tart is done, pull it out of the oven. Make sure you have some silicone mitts or something else good and sturdy to protect your hands for this next part.
  • Place the platter on top of the pie plate and quickly and carefully flip the tart. You should probably do this over the baking dish to catch all the caramel that is going to ooze off your plate.
  • Pry the pie plate very carefully off the tart. I use a pair of tongs in one hand and an oven mitt on my other hand. The sugar is very hot, so please be very careful at this point. Also, you will need  to restrain yourself for just a bit until the tarte tatin cools down just a little.

It is best eaten when warm, but not so warm that it will scald your mouth. Wait about 20-30 minutes, and you should be good. A little vanilla ice cream can’t hurt the tarte either. In fact, I highly recommend it. And there you have it — Persianized Tarte Tatin. Nooshi jan!

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One response

8 12 2009
My Persian Kitchen

Oh.My.GOD. I am salivating!!! That looks sooo soooo sooo good. I am going to have to make it one of these days!!

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