The day has come when I finally like something a little more than the Kitchenaid standing mixer. Last summer I won a contest run by Fishs Eddy. They sent me a set of tart pans, a pastry blender, rolling pin, and a whisk key chain. Strangely, they were all items that were new to me. I was thrilled to finally use a rolling pin instead of a wine bottle, and really loved the removable bottoms to the tart pans.
My plan this weekend was to do the upside down apple pie on Sunday morning, but seemed to forget that this meant that my dough should be made ahead of time. When we got home from dinner Saturday night I didn’t want to pull out the mixer again – it felt too cumbersome and noisy for late at night. Instead I grabbed a mixing bowl and the pastry blender and used it to incorporate the ‘butter’ and vegetable shortening into the flour. It was quick work and I liked that I was able to really see the dough as it was coming together. Needless to say, I’ll be using it more often!
Julia’s recipe is easy to follow — essentially you just have 4lbs of cooking apples (I used Golden Delicious), some sugar, and then more sugar and melted butter. You start with a layer of sugar on the bottom of the pan so that it can caramelize, and then add a layer of apples, followed by sugar and some melted butter. Repeat this twice so that you have created three layers. Then roll out your dough until it is approx 1/8″ thick and place it over the apples. Gently fold the overhang so that it is on the inside of the pan. Let bake for 40 minutes, until the crust is browned.
My only issue was that I didn’t really know how big my pan should be. I opted for the pie tins so that I could easily share this without cutting up one larger tart. It was also easier to flip since it wasn’t quite as large.
We ate it both warm and cold – and I’d really love to try it with some vegan ice cream on the side, but the simple taste of the apples with the crust was delicious on its own. Have you ever tried to make an upside down tart?