This is one of those classic desserts that I can’t believe I haven’t made before! Thanks again, Daring Bakers, for getting me to try something new and delicious. And so beautiful!
For the March Daring bakers’ challenge, Korena from Korena in the Kitchen taught us that some treats are best enjoyed upside down. She challenged us to make a tarte tatin from scratch.
Since I of course didn’t make this until 2 days before the posting date and I am off to visit family for the weekend I am going to keep this post pretty short. The recipe worked wonderfully well and I had no issues whatsoever. I would do it all the same the next time around.
Except for the apples. Mine were HUGE and I used the recommend 6 called for and had a bunch left over. You want more apples than the pan can hold since they do cook down, but I had probably 2 apples worth of slices left. That being said, I’d rather have too much than not enough.
The recipe for the pastry is easy and bakes up so flaky I know I’ll be making it again. I can’t believe I almost cheated and used a frozen puff pastry!
The caramel is a time consuming but fun project! Forgive these photos, but I thought it would be helpful to see the process. If I didn’t know the stages the sugar would go through I would’ve thought something was going terribly wrong. So, no need to worry when the sugar gets all nasty and clumpy and looks like nothing good can come from it. Something very good is coming. Just keep stirring and be patient.
The apples get wonderfully soft in the rich caramel. A scoop of plain vanilla bean ice cream is the perfect accompaniment to this rich dessert.
After arranging the apples and letting them cool a bit, place the crust on top and bake. I wasn’t supposed to let the tarte cool all the way before unmolding, so I was worried that it wouldn’t come out cleanly. I warmed the pan on the stove very breifly and it came out perfectly.
This is a beautiful dessert, perfect for impressing your guests! Or perfect to make for yourself and your baked good-loving toddler when your husband has gone out of town…
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup ( 5 ounces) unsalted butter, cold
¼ tsp fine salt
¼ cup ice cold water
Pulse flour, butter and salt in a food processor until butter is in pea sized pieces.
Stream in the water until the dough just comes together.
Turn out on a floured surface and press together into a square.
Roll into a 10 inch rectangle. Fold the top third of the dough down and the bottom third up so that you have 3 layers. Rotate 1/4 turn and repeat this process 4 more times.
Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least one hour, but up to a day.
4 large or 5-6 medium-sized apples (I used Granny Smith)
Juice of half a lemon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar, divided
Peel the apples and cut them into 4-6 pieces depending on the size of the apples. Remove the cores in such a way that each apple quarter has a flat inner side: when placed rounded-side-up, it should sit on a flat base. Place the apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar. This will help draw out some of the moisture from the apples and prevent an overly runny caramel. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Melt the butter in a very heavy, 9” or 10″ oven-proof saucepan over medium heat, then sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup sugar. Stir with a whisk until the sugar melts and becomes a pale, smooth caramel. The sugar will seem dry and chunky at first, then will start to melt and smooth out. If the butter appears to separate out from the caramel, just keep whisking until it is a cohesive sauce. This can be a long process, but it eventually works! Remove from the heat.
Preheat oven to 375F. Discard the liquid that has come out of the apples, then add the apple quarters to the caramel, round side down. They won’t all fit in a single layer at first, but as they cook they will shrink a bit. Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, pressing down gently on the apples with a spoon to cover them in the caramel liquid. Move the apples around the pan gently so that they all cook evenly, trying to keep them round side down. When the apples have shrunk enough to mostly fit in a single layer and are starting to soften but still keep their shape, remove the pan from the heat.
With a wooden spoon, arrange the apples, round side down, in a single layer of concentric circles covering the bottom of the pan. Set aside until the filling stops steaming before covering with pastry.
Remove the pastry from the fridge, roll it out on a lightly floured surface, and trim it into a circle about 1″ in diameter larger than your saucepan. Lay it over the filling, tucking in the edges between the apples and the sides of the pan, and cut a few steam vents in the pastry. Place the saucepan on a rimmed baking sheet (just in case the filling decides to bubble over the sides) and place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, then increase the heat to 400°F for 5 minutes. Keep and eye on it so it doesn’t get too dark.
Remove from the oven and let sit just until the caramel stops bubbling. Immediately place a serving platter (slightly larger in diameter than the saucepan) over the pastry. Wearing oven mitts, grab hold of the saucepan and platter and quickly invert everything to unmold the Tatin onto the platter. If any of the apples stick to the pan or come out of place, rearrange them with a spatula.
The tarte can be served warm from the oven or at room temperature. Suggested accompaniments include vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or crème fraîche.
Few things are better than a really delicious chicken salad on some really delicious bread. This chicken salad is really delicious.
I have been convicted lately to use my cookbooks more. I am often reminded of my dad saying to me and my sisters when I lived at home, “Why are you looking on the internet for a recipe? You’ve got a whole bookcase full of cookbooks right here!”. He only said it once, but he had a good point that has obviously stuck with me. While I do still find myself browsing recipes on food sites, I am making an effort to use my cookbooks more and it is really paying off.
This chicken salad recipe is from Rebecca Rather’s cookbook and is one of my favorites. I have made and have blogged about many of them, and have yet to be disappointed. I often focus on her sweet treats, but decided to delve into another section of the cookbook this weekend.
I do prefer to use homemade items instead of store bought most of the time, but not for this recipe. Rather instructs you to make your own mayonnaise. This, I am sure, it spectacular. She also includes a few ways to spice up your homemade mayo that make it extra special. She suggests curry powder, saffron, garlic, chives or rosemary. With the egg fiasco going on, and this whole pregnancy thing I’ve got going on, I figured raw eggs would not be the best choice for me…so I used store bought mayo. I recently bought a bottle of Kraft Olive Oil mayonnaise that I used here, and I really liked it.
Other than my laziness in the mayo department, I made minor changes to this recipe. My changes are shown in the recipe below. The only thing I left out completely was 1/4 cup finely diced red onion. I didn’t have one, so I just used 5 chopped green onions. I also added the fresh tarragon. Central Market sells a lovely tarragon chicken salad, so that was my inspiration.
I served this chicken salad on ciabatta rolls with lettuce and tomato. I ate some leftover today on a bed of lettuce. The almonds still had some texture, so two days in the fridge will not turn your almonds into mush. Enjoy!
The moment I saw this challenge I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. Steamed pudding. As in British steamed pudding. Really? And get this. I was supposed to use SUET! Where would I find suet? A better question is, what exactly is suet?
The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.
Esther explained on the Daring Bakers site that suet “is the hard but flaky fat found on the inside of a cow or sheep around the kidneys and that area of the body. Suet in its raw form crumbles easily into small chunks so much so that my butcher says it covers his floor in bits if he doesn’t have it taken out as soon as possible. In fact unless he knows he has a customer for it he has the abattoir take it out and throw it away and when I want some he gives it to me for free! It also melts at quite a low temperature, which has an effect on how it works in cooking. In some places such as the UK it is sold processed which basically means it is grated and combined with flour to keep the individual pieces from clumping together, and it becomes a sort of dried out short strands, almost granular in texture.”
I’m pretty sure that I didn’t follow all the rules of this challenge. I didn’t use suet. I used butter. My pudding did not have a crust with filling. It was more like a cake with fruit topping. I did not use a traditional pudding mold. I just used a bowl. I did, however, steam my pudding just as instructed. So, if I failed in all other categories, at least I did one thing right.
Our front yard is covered in leaves. Trees in our neighborhood are boasting leaves in all shades of red, yellow and orange. The grocery store is selling several different kinds of pumpkins and gourds, and my previously neglected scarf and gloves are being used daily. It is fall.
A bushel of apples picked at an orchard in New Mexico arrived at Ben’s office last week, courtesy of a client. Ben came home with about a dozen of the cute, little, red apples. I’m not sure what kind they are. Originally Ben thought we could make a pie, but I wasn’t sure how the apples would bake. Quite frankly, I did not want to put in the effort necessary to bake a pie just to have it be less than delicious thanks to shoddy apples. So, applesauce it is.
The applesauce was a nice combination between chunky and smooth. The cinnamon gave it a warm and satisfying flavor. The apples were not too sweet, not too tart, and make a delicious, warm, comforting applesauce. I think this was a great choice for using our plethora of apples.
Crock Pot Applesauce
10 medium sized apples (gala, golden delicious, granny smith, fuji, whatever you have)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch cardamom
1/4 cups water or apple juice
Peel, core, quarter and slice the apples.
Combine apples, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Pour water or apple juice on the crock pot, then add apple mixture.