tarte tatin w/out cast iron
So I'm in charge of the Thanksgiving dinner this year at my parents' house. I'd been planning on making tarte tatin as a change from the usual apple pie. Problem is, they don't have a cast-iron skillet (or a pie tin!) and mine is too heavy to take on the plane... so what should I cook it in? We have either a very very large glass tart plate, a 9 inch cake tin, or a 10 1/2 inch stainless steel pan w/ sloped edges. Or do I just give up, buy them a pie tin and make the tart another time?
I've made Jacque Pepin's tarte tatin using a glass pyrex pie plate. It is a little more involved but has turned out well. I used the following for a 10-inch pie plate, so adjust the amount to whatever pan you use. A slope side pan is easier to arrange the apple slices.
One 11-inch circle of either pie crust or puff pastry, chilled
1/3 cup of sugar for the caramel
4 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 lb of tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced about 1/2 inch thick, should have about 7 cups
1/3 cup of sugar
zest of one lemon
Make a medium brown caramel with the 1/3 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water and immediately pour into the pie pan. Quickly tilt the pan and so that it coats the bottom and about 1/2 of the sides of the pie plate. Cool
In a large saute pan, melt the butter until it is foamy, add the apple slices, sugar and lemon zest. Cook, shaking the pan or stir gentle, until the apples are just soften and give off a little of their juice, but not cooked through. Be careful to take care not to break up the apples too much. Gently pour the apples on to a large cookie sheet and spread to cool.
When apples are cool enough to handle, arrange the best slices on the bottom and sides of the pie pan in a concentric circle. This will make for an attractive presentation when unmolded. Using a spatula, fill the cavity with the remaining apple slices, scraping all the juice into the pie. The apples should fill the pie plate. You can do this ahead of time (same day).
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degree.
Place the cold pastry circle on top of the top of the apples. Trim the dough so that it comes to the edge of the plate. Brush the dough with egg wash and prick with fork.
Bake the tart on a cookie sheet for about 45 minutes or the until the dough is a nice brown. Let cool for about 5 minutes on a rack. Place a serving plate on top of the tart and turn the tart upside down to unmold. If any apple sticks on the pie plate, just remove and place them back on the tart. Do not let the the pie cool too much before unmolding, otherwise, the caramel will harden. If that happens, you may have to reheat the bottom to unmold.
I glaze the unmolded tart with warm apricot jam but it is optional.