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Tarte Tatins with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Glaze

By Chef Francois Payard ** Makes 8 servings Ingredients 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar 7 Tbsp unsalted butter 8 medium granny smith apples 1 sheet (8 oz) Puff Pastry Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Mascarpone cream, for serving

●  Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange eight 3-inch aluminum or metal molds on a baking sheet.

●  Combine the sugar with 1⁄4 cup plus 2 1⁄2 Tbsp water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat until it turns golden (do not stir). Remove from the heat, stir in butter and 3 1⁄2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (stand back as the mixture will foam up and may splatter). Pour 1⁄4 inch of glaze into each mold, and let cool for a few minutes to harden.

●  Peel and core the apples, and slice into wedges. Arrange the apples atop the glaze in each mold, pressing them down. Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes. Remove and set aside while you bake the pastry.

●  Increase the oven temperature to 375°F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the puff pastry out to 1⁄8 inch thick. Using a 3 1⁄2-inch round pastry cutter or cup, cut out 8 rounds from the dough. Arrange the rounds on a parchment lined sheet pan and prick them well with a fork. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until puffed and lightly browned. Let cool slightly.

●  Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Have ready a wire rack on top of a sheet pan. Place the Tart Tatins, in their molds on the sheet pan, in the oven for 3 or 4 minutes to warm up and loosen the glaze for ease of unmolding. Place a Puff Pastry Round on top of the apples and invert the tart onto the wire rack to catch the juices.

●  Serve with mascarpone cream and a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.

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