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Caramelized-apple gateau basque

Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Yields Serves 10 to 12
Caramelized-apple gateau basque
(Los Angeles Times)

Dough

1

In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the orange zest, butter and sugar. Beat until smooth.

2

Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

3

Sift together the salt, baking powder and flour. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating just until combined. Divide the dough in half and wrap separately. Chill for a few hours or overnight.

Caramel apple filling

1

Peel and core the apples. Cut them into one-fourth- to one-half-inch cubes and set aside; you will need 8 cups.

2

Heat a large heavy saucepan over high heat. Melt half a cup of sugar at a time, continuing until you have added and melted all the sugar. Cook until the sugar turns an amber color, about 10 to 12 minutes.

3

Reduce the heat to low. Add the vanilla bean and seeds and the butter. Stir carefully until combined.

4

Add the apples, stirring to combine them with the caramel. The caramel may harden; continue to cook and stir on low heat until the sugar melts, the apples are soft and caramel-colored and the apples have absorbed the caramel sauce. This will take about 30 minutes.

5

Pour the caramel-apple mixture into a rimmed baking pan and cool. It can be made several hours ahead.

Whipped creme fraiche

1

Whip the creme fraiche, sugar and zest with the whip attachment of an electric mixer or whisk until thickened. Chill until ready to use.

Assembly

1

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Butter a 9-inch springform cake pan and set aside.

2

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the first half of the pastry to a one-fourth-inch thick 12-inch round. Place the pastry into the pan, fitting it into the corners and up the sides.

3

Spoon the cooled apple mixture into the pastry in an even layer.

4

Roll out the remaining pastry to a one-fourth-inch thick (10-inch) round. Place it on top of the apple filling, pushing the air out the sides and pinching the top and bottom pastry edges together to seal. Save the remaining dough for another use.

5

Brush the top with the egg yolk. Score with the tines of a fork in a crisscross pattern to produce a plaid design.

6

Bake until the pastry is firm and a golden brown color, about 45 to 50 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped creme fraiche.

From Koa Duncan, pastry chef at Water Grill. The cake may be served as shown, or with either marinated shaved apples or spiced apple granite.

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