Moving onwards, the next easy Thanksgiving dinner recipe is a buttery and syrupy maple apple tarte tatin. Since the crust can be made ahead of time like the anchovies polenta appetizer, I prepped it in advance and move onto the other dishes.
I especially adore this recipe because it uses maple syrup for heightened earthiness. When the maple syrup cooked down, it became a shiny, smoky glaze that dresses the thinly sliced apples.
Don’t be intimidated by making your own crust. Even a non-baker like myself pulled it off with ease. My top 3 tips for making the perfect crust are to:
- use really cold butter
- add the cold water a bit at a time
- not work out all of the lumps or it will become chewy
As much as I would’ve loved to create this recipe from scratch, I knew myself better than that. I borrowed this recipe from Canadian Living and it turned out really well, apart from the fact that I sliced the apples too thinly so they curled upon serving.
Enjoy and don’t forget the ice cream!
Warm Maple Apple Tarte Tatin
- 6 apples, 2-1/2 lb/1.25 kg
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup (150 mL) maple syrup
- 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 tsp (5 mL) white vinegar or cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup (less 1 tsp) Ice water
Pastry: In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces. In measuring cup, whisk vinegar with enough ice water to make 1/4 cup (50 mL). Drizzle over flour mixture, stirring with fork until dough holds together when pressed. Press into disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.)
Peel, quarter and core apples. Cut quarters lengthwise to make 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick wedges; set aside.
In 8-inch (20 cm) cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat; add sugar and cook, stirring, until bubbly and just turning golden, about 2 minutes. Add maple syrup; cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Starting at edge of pan, arrange apples, flat side down, in concentric circles in syrup.
Simmer over medium-low heat, basting often, until apples begin to soften and syrup starts to thicken, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, on lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to 10-inch (25 cm) circle; cut 4 small steam vents in centre. Place over apples; press pastry edge down between apples and pan.
Bake in centre of 425°F (220°C) oven until pastry is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Wearing oven mitts, invert heatproof serving plate over skillet; turn over to unmould onto plate. Replace any apples that may stick to pan and scrape out any sauce over apples. Serve warm.
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