Pineapple Tarte Tatin

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Complex

  • Makes

    one

    10 inch 25 cm ) tart, about 8 servings

Appears in

Caramel and pineapple are a perfect combination of flavors, especially when they rest on a buttery puff pastry crust. There are dozens of ways to make a tarte tatin, but this is one I’ve used for years with good results: First you caramelize some sugar and butter in a nonstick sauté pan. Then the fruit goes in and it’s topped with a disk of puff pastry. The tart is baked at a high temperature, just long enough so that the dough bakes through. A few minutes after it emerges from the oven, it’s inverted to a platter revealing a beautifully arranged pattern of caramelized fruit on the baked puff pastry base. Tarte tatin is usually made with apples, and I’ve included that variation.

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe pineapple, about 3 pounds (1⅓ kg., or 2 smaller ones, about 2 pounds (900 grams) each
  • cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, cold
  • ¼ batch of Instant Puff Pastry, or about 12 ounces (350 grams) of prepared all-butter puff pastry
  • One 10- inch (25-cm) nonstick sauté pan with sloping sides

Method

  1. To pare the pineapple, use a sharp serrated knife to cut of f the leaves and base. Stand the pineapple right side up and peel away the skin from top to bottom. Remove any remaining bits of skin with the point of a paring knife.
  2. Cut the pineapple in half from top to bottom. Place ½ on a cutting board and cut it into ¼- inch (12-mm) thick slices. Repeat with the other half. Use a small round cutter to remove the core from each slice. Drain the pineapple in a colander.
  3. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Arrange the pineapple slices in one layer on a glass or a stainless-steel pan and bake them until the pineapple has cooked slightly and is somewhat dry, about 45 minutes.
  4. Once the pineapple has cooled, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and butter in the sauté pan and use a wooden spoon or heat-proof silicon spatula to stir them together. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Decrease the heat so that the syrup simmers and let it cook until it is a deep caramel color, about 10 minutes.
  5. Overlap 3 slices of pineapple in the center of the pan. Arrange the remaining slices, curved side outward, around the first 3 slices, overlapping the slices by about ⅓ as you go. Remember to place the pineapple slices so that you see the less attractive portion of the semicircular slices—so that the hole left in each slice when you cut away the core is visible to you. That means that when the tart is baked and you unmold it, the more attractive sides will be visible.
  6. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C).
  7. Place the dough on a floured surface and flour it. Press, then roll the dough to a rough circle about 1 inch ( cm) wider than the pan. Fold the dough in quarters and arrange it on the filling so that the point is at the center of the pan. Unfold the dough to cover the filling. Use scissors to trim away all but ¼ inch (6 mm) of the excess dough at the rim of the pan. Pierce the dough in 10 to 12 places with a fork.
  8. Bake the tart until the dough is baked through and well colored, about 20 minutes. Cool the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
  9. Invert a platter over the dough and, tightly grasping the handle of the pan with an oven mitt, and supporting the bottom of the platter with the other hand, invert the pan over the platter. Leave it in place for 5 minutes, then carefully lift off the pan. If any of the pineapple has remained stuck to the pan, use a fork to move it to the correct place on top of the tart.

Serving

Tarte Tatin is best within a few hours of being baked. You can cook the fruit to the end of step 7 and keep it ready to bake as long as you wish on the day you’re going to serve the tart. Roll out the dough and slide onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate it. A couple of hours before you intend to serve the tart, put the dough on, and bake the tart. The longer the tart sits around unmolded, the longer the juices have to seep into the dough and soften it. Serve the tart with some lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Storage

See Serving above. Wrap leftovers and keep them at room temperature.

variation

CLASSIC TARTE TATIN WITH APPLES: Substitute 8 large Golden Delicious apples for the pineapple. Peel, halve, core, and quarter the apples but do not bake them. Arrange the apple quarters, rounded side down in the caramel, in concentric rows perpendicular to the side of the pan. Scatter any remaining apple quarters on top of the first layer. Bake the tart at 350°F (180°C) until the dough is baked through and the apples are tender, about an hour.

Loading
Loading
Loading