Apple Tart Tatin with Sugar Nest and Happy New Year!

Happy Year 2013! Wishing you all the great cooking and eating! My new year's resolution is to keep it simple and keep it fresh! 

This apple tart tartan isn't so simple to make, but simple enough and festive! I haven't baked in a while for some reason, but I gave this one a go as I was asked to bring an apple pie to a dinner. My holiday spirit triggered me to look for a great apple pie recipe with a little twist. I found this one by Chef Anne Burrell online, which inspired my version of it with a little extra twist. 

I was intrigued by the recipe because the tart is flavored with lemon and apples were cooked with apple cider. Can't go wrong! 

I was making the tarts for a dinner party and my holiday spirit talked me into decorating them with golden nest for the festivity, which worked pretty good in the end. 

Looking forward to another great year of cooking and sharing : )

Recipe: make about 5 tarts

Crusst (adopted from this recipe by Anne Burrell)
1 stick of butter
1 cup all-purpost flour
1/4 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1 lemon, zested
1 egg yolk
2-3 tablespoons ice water

Apples (adopted from this recipe by Anne Burrell)
3 big apples (I used a fuji and granny apples)
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoos of lemon juice
1/2 cup of apple cider
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 cups of mascarpone 
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Sugar Nest (totally optional)
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoon of corn syrup
2 teaspoons of water

In a food processor combine the butter, flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Pulse until it looks like finely grated Parmigiano. Add the egg yolk and 1 to 2 tablespoons of the water. Pulse until the mixture comes together. If it seems a bit dry add a little more water and pulse, pulse, pulse. The mixture should come together into a ball. Dump the whole thing out onto a clean lightly floured work surface. Knead the mixture 1 or 2 times only to make it a smooth ball. Using a rolling pin or your fingers roll or press the dough out to an even circle about 11 to 12 inches in diameter. Wrap it with plastic film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Retrieve the chilled pastry from the refrigerator and cut it into about 5 inch long round shapes if you have baking cups like mines or a little smaller if you are using a muffin pan. Greece whatever the baking container you are using. Place a round dough and shape the edges. Make holes on each dough with a folk. It should  Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and crispy. Let the tart cool.

Peel and take the cores out of the apples. Slice them 2/3 inch thick. Place them in a large pan and put the rest of the ingredients over the apple slices. Cook them for 4-5 minutes each side. Cook it shorter if you like the apples crunchy. Make sure not to cook the apples to be too soft to maintain the shapes.Cool it for 30 min or so.

Mix mascarpone, sugar and vanilla extract together with a whisk and keep it refrigerated.

Get ready for a little mess especially if you haven't done this before! Place a parchment paper under a large rectangle baking sheet. Place cover on the floor (paper or plastic that you can throw away.) 

Put sugar, corn syrop and water in a pan and cook it with medium high heat for 10-15 minutes without stirring. Wait until the sugar turns syruppy and light brown. Take it off the heat and pour it in and out of the pan for a few minutes until it becomes harder as it cools. By using a folk, draw left and right onto the baking sheet. Quickly take a portion big enough to fold a little next.

FINALLY..., put the mascarpone filling on the tarts and top them with cooked apple slices. Decorate it with the sugar nests.


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