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from "Artisanal Cooking" by Terrance Brennan and Andrew Friedman

At Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro, we delight in referencing the associations diners have with cheese, whether by making gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches or creating a new version of a croque monsieur. This dessert applies an American tradition—topping apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese—to a French classic. Tarte tatin is the original "upside down" cake, a tart of caramelized apples that is cooked in a sauté pan and inverted. Here, the crust is made with grated cheddar cheese, fusing two of the most beloved desserts of the United States and France with a success the United Nations can only dream of.

Makes one 10-inch tart, enough to serve 6 to 8


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
Pinch fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons grated farmhouse cheddar (from about 3 1/4 ounces cheese)
3/4 cup plus 2 1/2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 Tablespoons ice-cold water
1 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
6 Red Delicious apples, pleeled, cored and quartered
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup brandy (optional)

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Put the flour, salt, baking powder, cayenne, and cheese in a medium bowl and stir together until well incorporated. Add 1/2 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon butter to the mixture. Using a pastry cutter, work the butter into the mixture until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Add the cold water and vinegar and continue to mix until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.
Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Put the remaining 6 tablespoons butter and the suger in a 10-inch sauté pan and cook over medium-high heat. Once the sugar has caramelized, add the apples and sauté for 20 minutes, turning the apples every other minute with tongs or a wooden spoon until dark amber. Add the vanilla extract and brandy, if using, leaning away from the pan to avoid any possible flare-ups. Cook for 2 more minutes.
Let the apples cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then use tongs to arrange the apples in a circular pattern in the same sauté pan, starting at the outside and working in toward the center, seed-side up. The slices are too thick to overlap, but they should touch each other and be arranged as neatly and consistently as possible.
Flour a work surface and roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut one round out of the dough, just over 10 inches in diameter, so that it can be neatly draped over the apples. Drape the dough over the apples in the sauté pan.
Bake until the crust is golden-brown and cooked through, approximately 35-40 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. (If the caramel hardens too much, place the sauté pan on the stovetop over low heat to warm and loosen it slightly.
Carefully invert the tart onto a platter by placing a platter or cake plate over the pan and holding the two together. Invert them to transfer the tarte to the plate. Cut into slices and serve. The tart tatin can also be refrigerated and served room temperature or cold.
Terms and Techniques:
Topping a tart with dough: With the dough spread out before you on your work surface, set a rolling pin on the dough and starting at the end closest to you, roll it away from you, spooling the dough onto the pin. Then set the dough-wrapped pin on the side of the tart furthest from you and roll the pin back your way; the dough will unspool and top the tart.
Serve the tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream, whipped créme fraîche, or slices of cheddar cheese.

Buy The Ingredients
Product nutrition and information
 Quantity Ingredients Est.Price
Grafton Village Cheese Company Cheddar, 2-Year Aged - $11.99/lb
  Organic Red Delicious Apples - $5.99/ea
Optional Ingredients
  Torres 10 Gran Reserva Imperial Brandy
This product is currently unavailable.
You May Already Have
  Arrowhead Mills Organic Unbleached White Flour - $7.19/ea
  La Baleine Fine Sea Salt - $4.29/ea
  Davis Double Acting Baking Powder - $3.99/ea
  Spice Supreme Cayenne Pepper - $1.29/ea
  Horizon Organic Unsalted Butter - $6.99/ea
 4ct, 4oz ea
  Roland Special Reserve White Wine Vinegar - $4.19/ea
 16.9fl oz
  Hain Pure Foods Organic Sugar - $5.99/ea
  Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract - $9.49/ea
 4fl oz
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