The tart and delicious Gravenstein is my favorite apple. Unfortunately availability is very limited beyond Sonoma's west coast because they don't travel well. Before the monoculture of the grape swept through Sebastopol and its surrounding countryside, Gravensteins were everywhere. The highway leading to town is still called the Gravenstein Highway. The end of July will celebrate the Gravenstein festival, even though it's hard to find a tree anymore. Still, I am lucky that I have a few of my own. But if you can't get Gravensteins, you can use any tart apple that you would use in a pie. I tweeked the classic tarte tatin with the addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, tiny rum soaked currants and roasted walnuts. I used my mother's pie crust which is buttery and flaky. —dymnyno
What You'll Need
Tarte Tatin filling
Gravenstein apples, peeled, cored and cut into quarters
toasted walnut pieces
currants, soaked in dark rum
freshly grated nutmeg
Butter Pie Crust (makes 2)
1 1/2 cups
butter, (3 sticks) 12 ounces I freeze the butter and grate it with a box grater.
Prepare the apples by peeling, coring and cutting into quarters.Add the lemon juice and toss. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and toss.
In a heavy 9 inch cast iron skillet melt 4 ounces of butter and add the sugar. Swirl around until the sugar starts to caramelize. Add the apples by cramming as many as possible around the sides and filling the whole pan with apple quarters arranging them like soldiers..
As the apples cook in the caramel they will shrink so have some extras to fill in the spaces. With small tongs turn the apple slices to coat both sides with the foaming caramel. This will take about 15 minutes.
Remove from the flame and sprinkle the toasted walnuts and the rum soaked currants that have been drained over the apples.
MAKE THE CRUST: In a large bowl add all ingredients and mix. Shape into 2 disks.The recipe makes two disks so you can freeze one or use it for another tarte.
Roll out one disk into tarte crust. I use two pieces of plastic wrap and roll out a crust that is about 2 inches in diameter larger that the tarte pan.
Drape the crust over the tarte and tuck in the edges. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes. (watch to make sure it doesn't burn)
Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Use a little knife and make sure the crust is not stuck to the pan. Place a plate over the pan and in a deft and quick movement invert the pan onto the plate while holding the pan very securely.