Upside-Down Apple Tarts

Serves 8
  • Active time:40 min
  • Start to finish:1 1/2 hr

For pastry cream

  • 1/2vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 1/4cupswhole milk
  • 1/3cupsugar, divided
  • 1 1/2tablespoonsall-purpose flour
  • 1tablespooncornstarch
  • 1whole large egg
  • 1large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2tablespoonunsalted butter, cut into bits

For pastry and topping

  • 2lbGolden Delicious apples (about 4)
  • 1lbfrozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed
  • 3tablespoonsunsalted butter, melted
  • 3tablespoonslight corn syrup
  • 2teaspoonswater
  • Equipment:

    a 6-inch-diameter bowl or plate; a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter; a 10-inch disposable pastry bag or sealable plastic bag
  • Accompaniment:

    vanilla ice cream

Make pastry cream:

  • Scrape seeds from vanilla bean with tip of a paring knife into a small heavy saucepan. Add pod, milk, and 3 Tbsp sugar and bring just to a boil, whisking to dissolve sugar.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together flour, cornstarch, remaining sugar, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Whisk together whole egg and yolk in another bowl, then whisk in flour mixture until smooth.
  • Add one third of hot milk mixture to yolk mixture (to temper) in a slow stream, whisking, then add to milk mixture remaining in saucepan, whisking. Bring custard to a boil over medium heat, whisking, then boil, whisking, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted.
  • Transfer pastry cream to a bowl and chill, its surface covered with wax paper, until no longer hot, at least 30 minutes.

Make tarts:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Peel and core apples, then cut into 1/8-inch-thick wedges.
  • Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin 1/8 inch thick and cut out 8 (6-inch) rounds using inverted bowl or plate as a guide. Punch out center of each round with cookie cutter and transfer to baking sheets.
  • Discard vanilla pod and transfer pastry cream to pastry bag. Snip a 1/3-inch opening and pipe pastry cream onto pastry in a ring around center (there will be some cream left over). Arrange overlapping apple slices on pastry, covering the cream, then brush with melted butter.
  • Bake tarts, switching position of sheets halfway through, until edges of apples are pale golden, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, stir together corn syrup and water until smooth.
  • Remove baking sheets from oven and flip each tart over with a large spatula. Generously brush pastry with some of corn syrup mixture.
  • Continue to bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until pastry is shiny and golden, about 15 minutes more. Cool 10 minutes.
  • Serve tarts, pastry side up, warm or at room temperature.
Cooks’ notes:

  • Pastry cream can be chilled up to 3 days. Stir before using.
  • Pastry can be rolled out and cut 1 week ahead and frozen, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Do not thaw.
  • Tarts can be baked 4 hours ahead. Reheat in a 350°F oven 5 to 10 minutes.

Spotted on Gourmet. Click here for link.