Upside-Down Apple Tart

Upside-Down Apple Tart
Serves 8 to 10

One of the first desserts I learned to make under Chef Alain was tarte tatin. This is basically the same dish. I recommend serving it with Salted Caramel Ice Cream, or your favorite brand of vanilla ice cream.

What you need:
Basic Pie Dough (recipe to follow), single crust
8 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and quartered
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare the Basic Pie Dough and refrigerate until ready to bake.
In a 10-inch sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the sugar and 2 tablespoons water, but do not stir. As the sugar begins to caramelize and turn an amber color, cook 2 to 3 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally to ensure the sugar caramelizes evenly, and the sugar is a uniform amber color. Be careful not to burn the sugar. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the butter. Set aside to cool slightly before the next step.
When the caramelized sugar has cooled, place 3 to 4 apple quarters in the center of the pan and arrange a layer of apples, curved side down, in tight concentric circles around the center apples. (It’s important to arrange the apples without gaps so that the tart inverts easily.) Arrange the remaining apples in an even layer flush with the top of the pan.
On a clean, lightly floured work surface, roll the chilled Basic Pie Dough out to a 11- to 12 -inch diameter circle. Drape the dough over the rolling pin to transfer the dough to the pan. Use your fingers to lightly press the dough down to cover the apples. Trim any excess dough from the edges by running a rolling pin over the dough and removing the excess. Tuck the edges of the dough into the outer rim of the pan or skillet.
Return the pan to low heat and cook 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
To invert the tart, run a sharp knife around the outer edge of the pan. Invert a 12-inch plate or platter atop crust, and flip the pan, and gently tap the bottom to help release the apples. Let the tart cool another 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Basic Pie Dough
Yields 1 (9-inch) pie crust

What you need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
1½ sticks unsalted butter, diced
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

What to do:
Combine the flour, salt, sugar and butter in a food processor. Pulse the mixture while gradually adding 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water, until the dough is coarse and the size of peas. The dough should be crumbly and hold together when squeezed. Do not overwork the dough.
Roll the dough out on a clean, lightly floured work surface, form it into a disk, and transfer it to a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until the dough is firm.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough out to a 11- to 12-inch-diameter circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate and trim it so that the dough is even with the edges of the pie plate. Use the tines of a fork to puncture the bottom of the dough 7 times, evenly spacing the punctures.
Cut a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil just wide enough to cover the dough, and press it into the bottom of the pan and over the edges. Arrange pie weights or dry beans evenly over the parchment or foil in the bottom of the pan.
Bake the crust 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and remove the covering and the weights or beans. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake the crust an additional 10 minutes. Remove the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Preheat the oven again to 350 degrees F.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, brown sugar, salt, orange zest, cinnamon, and chipotle powder and whisk 1 to 2 minutes, until the butter is completely melted and the mixture begins to bubble. Add the corn syrup, molasses, bourbon, and vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Remove from the heat.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Gradually add half the contents of the saucepan to the eggs, whisking constantly, then return this mixture to the saucepan over medium heat. Bring the pot to a simmer, and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes, whisking constantly, until the filling is thick and glossy. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans. Pour the pie filling into the cooled crust.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is set and the center of the pie jiggles slightly in the center when gently shaken. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

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