Video: NY Times Cooking
At LBA, we love intersections of French and American culture. Our independence celebrations–both happening in the month of July–give us double the opportunity to celebrate!
In the United States, Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. In France, July 14th is La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration; aka “Bastille Day”), which commemorates the Storming of the Bastille at the start of the French Revolution on July 14, 1789, and La Fête de la Fédération, which celebrates the unity of the French people on July 14, 1790. No only do France and America share national commemorations of the power of the people to advocate for liberty, equality, and no taxation without representation, but also two good excuses to please our merry-making patriots with the simple delights of apple pie.
While Apple Tarte Tatin isn’t as American as apple pie, it has an air of effortlessness that makes it very French. Coming on the heels of our American independence day where many celebrated the Fourth of July with all-American Apple Pie, today we’re celebrating La Quatorze Juillet (Fourteenth of July) with what we think is the perfect French take on the American independence apple pie tradition, using the perfectly convenient LBA All-Butter Puff Pastry.
Recipe adapted from NY Times Cooking.
French Apple Tarte Tatin
- 6 to 8 large, firm-fleshed apples, preferably Braeburn, or use a mix of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith
- 6 tablespoons/80 grams salted butter, very soft
- ⅔ cup/135 grams granulated or light brown sugar
- 1 sheet LBA 10 x 15 All-butter Puff Pastry
- Prepare the apples: Slice off the bottom of each apple so it has a flat base and core, peel, and quarter. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate, lightly covered, for at least one day or up to three days. (This step reduces the amount of liquid in the tart. Don’t worry if the apples turn brown; they will be browned during the cooking anyway. Apples can be used same-day, but tart will be more moist and cooking times may need adjustment.)
- When ready to cook, heat oven to 375 degrees (or 350 if using convection). Thickly coat the bottom of a 10-inch heavy ovenproof skillet, preferably nonstick metal, with butter. Sprinkle sugar evenly on top.
- Cut one piece of apple into a thick round disk and place in the center of the skillet to serve as the “button.” Arrange the remaining apple pieces, each one standing on its flat end, in concentric circles around the button. Keep the pieces close together so that they support one another, standing upright. They will look like the petals of a flower.
- On a floured surface, allow LBA Puff Pastry to thaw from frozen until pliable, but still cold. Note that the video included shows dough in a folded bulk pack. Using LBA Puff Pastry dough provides even greater convenience, saving you the step to roll it out. Place an upside-down bowl or pan on the thawed pastry and use the tip of a sharp knife to cut out a circle about the same size as the top of your skillet. Lift out the circle and drape gently over the apples. Use your hands to tuck the pastry around the apple pieces, hugging them together firmly.
- Place the skillet on the stovetop over medium heat until golden-brown juice begins to bubble around the edges, 3 minutes (if the juices keep rising, spoon out as needed to remain level with pastry). Keep cooking until the juices are turning darker brown and smell caramelized, no longer than 10 minutes more.
- Transfer skillet to the oven and bake 45 to 50 minutes, until puff pastry is browned and firm.
- Let cool 5 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a round serving plate. (Or, if not serving immediately, let cool completely in the pan; when ready to serve, rewarm for 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven before turning out.) If any apples remain stuck in the pan, gently use your fingers or a spatula to retrieve them, and rearrange on the pastry shell. Cut in wedges and serve warm with heavy cream, crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.