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Classic/Classic Update: Tarte Tatin

The Classic: Classic Tarte Tatin

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The classic upside-down apple tart faces off against a modern makeover. Sweet or savory? It’s your call.

The classic
Cookbook author, baking guru, and French culinary expert Dorie Greenspan gives us the unrivaled classic. Tender, caramelized apples are topped with an all-butter short-crust pastry; then the tart is baked until gloriously golden and flipped upside down. Simple yet irresistible. In 1889, hotelier Stéphanie Tatin mistakenly put apples in a tart pan without lining it first with dough. To salvage the tart, she draped the pastry on top, baked it, and served it upside down. A heavy skillet does double duty in this recipe: It caramelizes the apples in sugar and butter, and it serves as a baking vessel for the tart. When the tart bakes, the apples become translucent and deep auburn in color, since they are almost candied in the caramel. Then short-crust dough is placed directly over the hot apples. The heat helps set the pastry and results in a crisp crust all the way through.
Classic Tarte Tatin
The Classic: Classic Tarte Tatin

The update
French pastry master François Payard rolls dessert and the cheese course into one delectable dish. As a riff on the classic pairing of cheese and fruit, pan-roasted apple rings and melted sharp Cheddar are layered with puff pastry rounds and served with a balsamic-dressed frisée salad. Recalling the tried-and-true combination of cheese and apple, the update features warm, melting Cheddar between a pan-roasted apple and puff pastry.
In contrast to the tart Granny Smiths in the classic, sweeter Fuji apples are used here to balance the sharpness of the Cheddar. Frisée tossed with walnuts and a balsamic dressing is a nod to the salad course, which in France, follows the main course but precedes dessert. Unlike the rustic original, which is made for sharing, this stylish update is meant for one.

  Upside-Down Apple-Cheddar Tarts with Frisée and Toasted Walnuts
The Update: Upside-Down Apple-Cheddar Tarts with Frisée and Toasted Walnuts

Photos: Scott Phillips


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