Tarte Tatin was prepared by Carri Risner from the James le Petit Bouchon bistro, 7th and Broadway in downtown Columbia.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup good quality honey
1 Tbsp. vanilla brandy
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
10 apples, preferably Granny Smith or a similar tart, crisp baking apple
6 small circles or 1 large circle of puff pastry
1. To start, peel the apples and cut in half. Use a melon baller to extract the core. Place the apples upside-down, with the curved end to the bottom, in 6 individual pie pans or in 1 large pie pan or oven-proof saute pan.
2. Overlap the apples slightly as they will shrink during cooking. Set aside. Preheat your oven to 350°.
3. In a sauce pan, combine the butter and sugar over fairly high heat, stirring carefully while the bubbles and starts to brown. Slowly add the honey, vanilla brandy, lemon juice and cinnamon stick. This mixture will bubble and steam so use caution.
4. The next step is to cook the mixture until it reaches a dark caramel color. A good guide is darker than cardboard yet lighter than black walnut wood finish. When the caramel is ready, carefully pour it over your apples, evenly distributing among the pans.
5. Put these pans into your pre-heated oven and cook until the apples are tender. Test the apples by making sure they are easily pierced with a knife. When the apples are tender, place a puff pastry circle over each pie pan.
6. Return to the oven and bake until lightly browned and beautifully risen. Remove from the oven and let cool until slightly warm.
7. To serve, place a dish on the top of the desert and flip upside-down. Carefully remove the pan. At le Petit Bouchon, we serve this desert with either barely sweetened whipped cream or house-made ice cream.
8. Enjoy, relax and have fun!