Caramelized Apple Tart: Tarte Tatin

Some people say this upside-down apple tart was invented by the Tatin sisters, who ran an inn in the Loire Valley. The story goes that they dropped an apple tart on the kitchen table and when it landed upside down, they decided to bake and serve it just like that. That was a happy accident because the inverted baking technique that is now standard practice for this famous tart makes everything turn out perfectly: The apples caramelize in the hot pan, and the pastry, which is exposed during baking, becomes light and flaky. Because the crust doesn't really need to rise very high, this is an excellent way to use up puff pastry trimmings.

Recipe courtesy of Pascal Rigo, The American Boulangerie: French Pastries and Breads for the Home Kitchen, Bay/SOMA Publishing, 2003

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