Tarte Tatin is an apple tart that is baked with the crust on top and inverted on the serving plate. Two French sisters (named Tatin) supposedly invented it in the Loire Valley many years ago. Whatever the REAL story, the tart became a classic because it tastes so good and is so easy to prepare. Brie Puff Pastry is one of my trade secrets I’m sharing with you. It was invented by my mentor years ago as the base for some incredible goat cheese tartlets. I moved it over here to dress up my apple tart. You’ll use half the recipe for the Tarte Tatin. The rest will freeze beautifully until you’re ready for it. —ChefJune
one 10-inch tart
Brie Puff Pastry
unsalted butter, COLD (cut into 8 pieces)
organic unbleached flour
French Brie cheese, at room temperature [You want a fresh one with a light crust.]
crisp apples (Golden Delicious or Gala are the most like French apples)
organic cane sugar
ground cinnamon (I like Vann’s Saigon Cinnamon)
In food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the flour and butter with short pulses until mixture is the consistency of coarse meal.
Cut the Brie into several small pieces and add to the flour mixture.
Pulse until just before mixture forms a ball. Form mixture into a disc and refrigerate for at least ½ hour.
Quarter, core and peel apples. Cut them lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices (thin). Mix cinnamon and sugar and toss with the apples.
Butter a 10-inch ovenproof deep fry pie pan heavily with the 2 tablespoons soft butter. Make sure you coat the bottom especially well. Sprinkle half of the 1/2 cup of sugar over the butter. Arrange 1/3 of the apples over the sugar. Sprinkle 1/3 of the melted butter over the apples. Repeat with 1/2 the remaining apples and butter, then a final layer of apples and butter. Put remaining sugar on top. Cook on top of the stove (over medium-low heat) for about 20 minutes, until apples have softened and begun to caramelize.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out pastry to 1/8-inch thick. Cut it into a circle the size of the top of the pie pan. Place over the apples, letting the edges fall against the inside edge of the dish. Cut 4 or 5 holes about 1/8-inch long in pastry as vents.
Bake in lower third of preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes. If pastry is browning too fast, cover lightly with aluminum foil. Tart is done when you can see thick brown syrup exuding from apples between the crust and edge of pan.