Tarte Tatin

This French apple tart recipe calls for baking the tart twice, once without the crust, and than again after you've added the pastry top.

For the pastry crust (or you can use a good quality store bought pie crust):

For the caramel: For the filling Prepare the pastry crust by mixing the flour and salt together in a bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender. Stir in the cold water with a fork until dough starts to stick together. Gather into a smooth ball and flatten slightly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Butter the bottom and sides of a sturdy 10 inch diameter baking dish.

Prepare the caramel by mixing the sugar and water in a saucepan on medium heat. It will come to a boil and all you need to do is shake the pan occasionally. Continue boiling until the mixture just begins to turn brown. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in butter, and pour into baking dish. Be careful! The caramel is extraordinarily hot.

In the meantime, prepare the apples by peeling, coring and cutting them into quarters. You can cut off the ends of the quarters to make it easier to arrange them in a circular baking dish. Save the cut off tips to fill in empty spaces in the tart.

As soon as you have poured in the caramel, arrange the apple slices in concentric circles, moving from the outside of the dish towards the center. Layer as needed to use up all of the apples. Only the first layer will show, after that just try to wedge them in evenly. Sprinkle evenly with tablespoon of sugar.

Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to cool. At the same time you can take the pastry dough out of the refrigerator and allow it warm up a couple of minutes so it is easy to roll out. Roll out pastry dough into a circle that is about a 1/2 inch larger in radius than your baking dish. Once the apples have cooled somewhat, place the pastry on top and tuck edges down into dish.

Return to oven and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Before the tart cools, place a larger dish over the top and turn the tart. Serve warm.

Makes about 8 servings

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