Sweet Potato Tart Tatin
The Washington Post, October 21, 2009

Here, a French-style caramel sauce glazes layers of sweet potato slices that sit atop puff pastry.

1 11-by-14-inch sheet (9 ounces) all-butter store-bought puff pastry dough, preferably Dufour brand, defrosted
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for the pastry
1/4 cup water
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds (2 or 3 same-size) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Have a 10- or 12-inch cast-iron skillet at hand.

Place the sheet of puff pastry dough on a clean work surface and cut out a 10- or 12-inch round, depending on the size skillet you're using (roll out
if necessary to smooth over any creases). Set the round onto the prepared baking sheet. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and refrigerate until
ready to use.

Place 3/4 cup of sugar in a small saucepan and cover with the water. Gently stir with a spoon to make sure all of the sugar is wet (it should have the
consistency of wet sand), partially cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook undisturbed for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is clear
and producing syrupy-looking medium-size bubbles.

Uncover and cook until the syrup is a light amber or butterscotch color and its temperature reaches 320 degrees. Turn off the heat; the sugar will
continue to cook in the pan. Once the temperature reaches 350 degrees (this will take only a few minutes), whisk in the butter, one piece at a time,
waiting until each addition is completely incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla extract and the salt, stirring to combine. Pour the
caramel into the cast-iron skillet.

Cover the caramel with the sweet potato slices, starting in the center and overlapping in a spiraling outward circle as you go. Top with the chilled
puff pastry dough round.

Combine the egg and the milk in a liquid measuring cup; use the mixture to brush over the pastry, and then sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon
sugar. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the edges are deep amber and the pastry is puffed and golden.

Let cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a large plate. (Make sure the diameter of the plate is larger than 10 inches!) Cut into wedges and serve

Serve with ice cream.

MAKE AHEAD: The unbaked tart can be assembled and refrigerated up to 30 minutes in advance.

8 servings

Recipe Source: Adapted from "DamGoodSweet," by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel (Taunton Press, November 2009).

443 calories, 24g fat, 10g saturated fat, 57mg cholesterol, 174mg sodium, 52g carbohydrates, 3g dietary fiber, 24g sugar, 5g protein
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