Thursday, March 14, 2013

Apple Tart Tatin to Celebrate Pi Day

Happy Pi Day everyone! 

Celebrated on March 14th (3.14),  Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). I have a wonderful friend who told me about the tradition of eating pie to celebrate this special holiday, and used to bring several different varieties into the office every year for us to share.

Now not everyone has time to make pies for the office, but for a quick and super easy desert for tonight, try this recipe for a simple version of a classic tarte tatin, or french apple pie. It is a one pan wonder, and you can have it done in 45 minutes with no fuss. A tarte tatin is an upside down pie where the apples are cooked in caramel before adding the pastry to the top and baking. I use store bought puff pastry, because it is quick and reliable.

Most recipes call for the use of a cast iron pan, but I used my aluminum pan and it works perfectly. Just be careful of the handle taking it out of the oven.

Serves 6-8.

5 Large granny smith apples
1/4 Cup butter
1/4 Cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Piece of puff pastry, thawed

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Roll the pastry out to an even 1/8" thickness, put on baking sheet and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
3. Peel, core and slice the apples in 1/4"slices, put in a bowl and toss with cinnamon and lemon juice.
4. put butter and sugar in the frying pan, heat over medium-high heat until the mixture has melted and turned a golden colour. Take off the heat immediately.
5. Arrange the apple slices nicely into the skillet. the first layer will form the top of the pie. Subsequent layers can be less pretty.
6. Return the pan to the heat, and cook the apples undisturbed for about 10 minutes, until the apples on the bottom are beautifully brown and the apples start to get soft. (You can gently check the apples by lifting them with a knife and replacing them.)
7. When the apples are ready, turn off the heat and remove the pan. Gently lay the pastry over the apples, trimming as required and tucking in the apples.
8. Cut 3 steam vents in the pastry. 
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until pastry is puffy and golden brown. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before turning the tarte onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or cool.

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