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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Apple Tarte Tatin with Red Wine Caramel and Brandied Whipped Cream

A Tarte Tatin is an upside-down tart in which the fruit are caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked.  Well this one is a little different in that the apples are caramelized in a red wine caramel.  Okay, I know it sounds complicated... and while there are a lot of steps, each one is easy.  I promise.... follow along with me on this step-by-step tutorial on this decadent, eye-catching dessert!

The ingredients for this tarte tatin are very accessible.  I was down at my parents' fishing camp this weekend, so these are pretty basic pantry items.  I apologize for the quality of the photos.  All I had at the camp was my phone.

Tart
2 cups    dry red wine
1/4 tsp   cinnamon
1/4 tsp    vanilla
1/2 cup   sugar
1/4 cup   water
2 Tbsp   butter
1 Tbsp   brandy
2 apples
One 14-ounce sheet chilled puff pastry

Topping/Garnish
1/2 pint  heavy whipping cream
1 tsp      vanilla
1/4 cup  powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp brandy
* 1 ripe mango (optional)
* handful of strawberries + 1/4 cup sugar (optional)
* mint sprigs (optional garnish)

Step-by-Step:
I chose a golden delicious and a fuji apple for this tart.
First, prepare some aciduated water - water with a whole lemon squeezed into it.  You want to prevent the oxidation (browning) of the apple slices.
After cutting the apples, rub the cut halves with the lemon while you are working on them.  Once sliced, drop the pieces into the lemon water.


Remove the seeds and core from the apple halves.  *Note - an aluminum cutting instrument (like the measuring spoons we used here) will cause browning FASTER than stainless steel, so use stainless if you have it.  (we were at the fishing camp, remember?  Sometimes, you have to just make do.)


Slice the apples in uniform thickness.
Soak the apple slices in the lemon water to retard the oxidation.  You don't want brown apples!
2 cups of dry red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon).  The alcohol will all cook out, but the flavor will be concentrated, so use a wine that you enjoy drinking.
For the red wine syrup, add the wine to a small saucepan.  Add 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon.  You could also throw in a couple of cinnamon sticks.
For the vanilla in the red wine syrup, use the best vanilla you can find.  I happen to love this clear Mexican vanilla.
Add 1/4 tsp of vanilla to the wine and cinnamon.
Boil the wine mixture over moderately high heat until reduced to about 1/4 cup (about 15 minutes).
Now, for the caramel... 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water.
Add the sugar and water to a black iron skillet.
Stir over moderately high heat just until the sugar is dissolved - then don't stir ANY more.
The thing you want to watch with the caramel is the bubbles.  At first, they look all clear, flimsy and watery - as they do here.
Now the bubbles start looking bigger and more "elastic" looking.  Can you see the difference?
Continue swirling until a light amber caramel forms - about 5 minutes.  Now remove the skillet from the heat.
Now add the red wine syrup into the caramel.  Stir to dissolve the caramel.
Add the butter to the red wine caramel and cook for about a minute.
Add the drained apple slices to the red wine caramel.
Start cooking the apples over low heat.
Stir the caramel into the apples, and turn the apples occasionally until they are tender and the pan juices are syrupy - about 20 minutes.
After the first 10 minutes, add a tablespoon of brandy to the apples and continue cooking.
After 20 minutes, remove the apples from the pan.  They are now tender and succulent.  The red wine caramel is syrupy and coat the fruit.
Arrange the fruit in the skillet, starting in the middle.
After all of the fruit is in the skillet, pour the sauce over them and let this cool for about 30 minutes.  This is a good time to go preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Also, take out the puff pastry from the freezer.
Since this recipe uses store-bought puff pastry, it's super easy to assemble.  Take out one of the sheets of pastry and let it thaw about 25 minutes or so.
Fold out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, cut off the edges using a 12 inch plate as a guide, cut steam vents into the pastry, then lay the pastry over the fruit.
Turn the edges of the pastry under and "tuck" the fruit in.




All ready for the oven!
While the tart is baking, you can make the garnishes.  These are totally optional of course.  The first garnish was a mango puree. 
Puree the ripe mango pieces until smooth.  That's it!  Nothing else needed if the mangoes are ripe and sweet.
My strawberries were very ripe, but still a little tart, so I added a little sugar.  Blend until smooth.
For the brandied whipped cream:  Heavy whipping cream, vanilla, powdered sugar, a little brandy.
Blend until thick peaks form.  Taste and adjust as desired.  Yumm!
So here are my plate garnishes.  You could do all, none, or choose your own.
Bake the tart until the pastry is puffed and golden brown - about 45 - 50 minutes.  Now let it cool in the skillet about 10 - 15 minutes.
Now invert the tart carefully onto a large plate.
Cut into wedges and serve warm with whipped topping.
Voila!  Delicious!  All this needs is a great cup of coffee.


Now...  I'd love to hear from you!


Want more great recipes?
Please visit my Recipe Index for tons of ideas that you can cook with/for you family!   






Written directions:
Apple Prep.  First, prepare some aciduated water - water with a whole lemon squeezed into it.  You want to prevent the oxidation (browning) of the apple slices.  After cutting the apples, rub the cut halves with the lemon while you are working on them.  Once sliced, drop the pieces into the lemon water.  Remove the seeds and core from the apple halves.  *Note - an aluminum cutting instrument will cause browning FASTER than stainless steel, so use stainless if you have it.  Slice the apples in uniform thickness.  Soak the apple slices in the lemon water to retard the oxidation.

For the red wine syrup.  Measure out 2 cups of dry red wine.  The alcohol will all cook out, but the flavor will be concentrated, so use a wine that you enjoy drinking.  For the red wine syrup, add the wine to a small saucepan.  Add 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon.  You could also throw in a couple of cinnamon sticks.   For the vanilla in the red wine syrup, use the best vanilla you can find.  I happen to love this clear Mexican vanilla.  Add 1/4 tsp of vanilla to the wine and cinnamon.  Boil the wine mixture over moderately high heat until reduced to about 1/4 cup (about 15 minutes).

Now, for the caramel... 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water.  Add the sugar and water to a black iron skillet. Stir over moderately high heat just until the sugar is dissolved - then don't stir ANY more.  The thing you want to watch with the caramel is the bubbles.  At first, they look all clear, flimsy and watery. Then they will start looking bigger and more "elastic" looking.  Continue swirling until a light amber caramel forms - about 5 minutes.  Now remove the skillet from the heat.  

Now add the red wine syrup into the caramel.  Stir to dissolve the caramel.  Add the butter to the red wine caramel and cook for about a minute.  Add the drained apple slices to the red wine caramel. Start cooking the apples over low heat.  Stir the caramel into the apples, and turn the apples occasionally until they are tender and the pan juices are syrupy - about 20 minutes.  After the first 10 minutes, add a tablespoon of brandy to the apples and continue cooking.  After 20 minutes, remove the apples from the pan.  They are now tender and succulent.  The red wine caramel is syrupy and coat the fruit.

Start assembling.  Arrange the fruit in the skillet, starting in the middle.  After all of the fruit is in the skillet, pour the sauce over them and let this cool for about 30 minutes.  This is a good time to go preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Also, take out the puff pastry from the freezer and let it thaw about 25 minutes or so.  Fold out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, cut off the edges using a 12 inch plate as a guide, cut steam vents into the pastry, then lay the pastry over the fruit.  Turn the edges of the pastry under and "tuck" the fruit in.  Now it is all ready for the oven!

Garnishes.  While the tart is baking, you can make the garnishes.  These are totally optional of course.  The first garnish was a mango puree.  Puree the ripe mango pieces until smooth.  That's it!  Nothing else needed if the mangoes are ripe and sweet.  My strawberries were very ripe, but still a little tart, so I added a little sugar.  Blend until smooth.

For the brandied whipped cream.  Mix heavy whipping cream, vanilla, powdered sugar, a little brandy.  Blend until thick peaks form.  Taste and adjust as desired.  Yumm!

Bake the tart until the pastry is puffed and golden brown - about 45 - 50 minutes.  Let it cool in the skillet about 10 - 15 minutes.  Now invert the tart carefully onto a large plate.  Cut into wedges and serve warm with whipped topping.

2 comments:

  1. This tarte is absolutely delicious and very easy to make!
    I think it would also be nice with some greek yoghurt instead of the whipped cream, it would be a little "fresher".
    Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW! This is really an amazing and attractive post about tarte.I just love this.This tarte is absolutely delicious and very easy to make! I appreciate your posted wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing such an interesting post.

    ReplyDelete

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