YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Apple Pie : PIES: We Pick the Best

September 20, 1990|BARBARA HANSEN

The nicest way I know of to spend Saturday morning is to linger over a slice of syrupy tarte tatin at Julienne. Seated at a tiny marble-topped table, listening to classical music and surrounded by accouterments that suggest an elegant French bistro of long ago, I'm in a world far from the weekday rush.

The tarte is classically simple. Sugar and butter melt into a glowing, deep-brown caramel sauce that forms a sticky crust at the edge of the pastry. The plump apple halves gleam like burnished mahogany under their caramel coating. And a fat spoonful of freshly whipped cream sets off the rich sweetness.

I'm very picky about apple pies because I grew up with the best, baked by my Iowa-born mother. Experience has taught me not to order them out because they never measure up. But I can't say that about Julienne's tarte tatin. It's wonderful.

Julienne, 26 4 9 Mission St., San Marino, (818) 441-2299 . JULIENNE'S APPLE TARTE TATIN

12 to 14 large Red or Golden Delicious apples

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter

8 ounces puff pastry

Whipped cream, optional

Peel apples. Cut each in half lengthwise and remove core. Melt butter in 9x2 1/2-inch round saute pan with straight sides and oven-proof handle or heavy 9-inch cake pan. Stir in sugar.

Using tongs, arrange apples standing on end, core side out, around edge of pan, packing as tightly as possible. Make additional circles to center of pan, packing tightly, and using all or as many apple halves as possible. If small apples are used, more may be necessary to fill pan.

Place pan on burner and cook on medium-low heat about 1 hour. With fork, turn apples individually in place, leaving in same position in order to brown top half evenly. Cook 30 minutes longer.

On lightly floured board, roll pastry into 10-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Place over apples, allowing edges to hang over pan. Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place pan on rack to cool 30 minutes. Invert pan onto serving platter and let stand without removing pan 10 minutes. Remove pan and serve tart warm, accompanied by whipped cream, if desired. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Los Angeles Times Articles