Upside Down Caramel Apple Pie


tarte tatin

Pie and I have a long history together.  When I met my husband he was totally obsessed with “American round pies.” (Did you know pies aren’t round in every corner of the world?)  Fueled by hollywood pie references he plotted to taste every pie imaginable while in the U.S.  Once he returned home every visit I would make was filled with requests for various pies for him and his friends.  I brought pie tins, measuring cups, and recipes with me.  I will never forget a particularly spectacular blueberry pie made with my grandma’s recipe, or a sour cherry pie based on hours of manual pitting labor that was SO worth the effort.

In fact years before that I had learned to make pie with my grandmother.  As I recall we decided to make apple pies one evening after the sun had gone down, so my grandmother grabbed a ladder and a flashlight, and we picked the apples for the pie in the dark.  Man that pie was fresh.

Well, as I said above pies don’t look the same all over the world, but the idea of pastry with fruit or creamy fillings permeates the globe in one implementation or another.  As in many areas of cuisine especially those involving butter the French rise above the others and give to the world a spectacular upside down caramelized apple pie as their signature apple pie offering.

While it looks complicated, it’s actually pretty simple.  The scariest part of the procedure is flipping over the pie to reveal its concentric apple circles.  Take it from someone who likes to make every cooking mistake there is to make, wait for it to cool before doing that part huh???

I threw some dried cranberries in mine, decidedly unfrench but you know… so am I and it was really delicious.

Apple Cranberry Tarte Tatin

8 servings

1 cup all purpose flour or 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 cup all purpose
1 tablespoon evaporated cane sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (go for the grassfed), chilled and cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons ice water
3 1/2 pounds tart apples (about 9), peeled, cored, and each cut into 8 wedges
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (grassfed again!)
1/2 cup sugar (evaporated cane or coconut)
½ cup dried cranberries

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor; pulse until combined. Add 6 tablespoons chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. (Or just do the same thing with a pastry cutter or a fork) Add 2 tablespoons ice water, and pulse until mixture forms clumps. Gently press dough into a 6-inch circle on heavy-duty plastic wrap; cover and chill 30 minutes.

To prepare filling, combine apples, juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, tossing to coat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan. Add sugar to pan; cook 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat.

Pour caramel into 9in round baking pan. Arrange half of apples in a circular pattern over sugar mixture in pan. Top with remaining apples, rounded side up. Preheat oven to 400°.

Roll dough into an 11-inch circle on a heavily floured surface. Place dough over apples; fold edges under. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven; let stand 20 minutes. Place a plate upside down on top of pan. Now be bold and flip it over!! Ta da! Knock any apple pieces that stuck to the pan back in place. You’re the boss.


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