Tuesday, January 5, 2010

TWD: Tarte Tatin

First let me say "Happy Birthday 'Tuesdays with Dorie'!" At this time of year, especially when flipping over to a year with a "0" one can't help but look back and reflect on what has come before. Two years ago I never would have imagined I'd be blogging about cooking or baking. Or would I have imagined that one cook book can hold so many wonderful treasures. Or the confidence I would gain in the kitchen by making the variety of recipes we've made out of said book. But most of all, I wouldn't have imagined meeting such a fun and fine group of people as yourselves. I'm somewhat sporadic in visiting your blogs, and even more sporadic when it comes to leaving comments - so you may have a hard time believing how much I've come to adore you. Thanks so much for the cyber friendship. It means a lot to me.

Last, but not least, a special thanks to LW who got the whole TWD thing rolling. Your hard work is appreciated and you should be very proud of this amazing thing you created. Congrats!

Now -- on with the post!

I can't tell you how much I've looked forward to this recipe. On my whirlwind 48 hour trip to Paris I took in 2003 I had this dessert for the very first time. How little I knew about food is horrifying in retrospect. But I did "get" that "caramelized apple tart" sounded like a very good thing. And it was. Heaven on earth. It sealed the deal for my love of Paris (that and the multitude of chocolate croissants I consumed!).

I've pondered getting a cast iron pan many times just for this recipe, but since Dorie gave a great option of using a skillet I gave that a try. I was very nervous about the whole project. Worried the pan wasn't right, worried the Braeburn apples weren't the best choice, worried the caramel would burn, worried I wouldn't survive the flip. And truth be told the pan was probably a little big and the sides a little too slanty. The apples were a little soft when I cut them and probably weren't the right choice. Although I let the apples cook over the stove for much longer than the 15 minutes Dorie recommended, I didn't have the heat on high enough to get the proper color on the caramel. The one true success was the pan flipping. I just took Dorie at her word - I flipped it "confidently" and it worked. Had I listened to her on all the other things, I probably would have better results.

All of that said, even though I have very "tender" apples that have very little color, the results are delicious. And due to my experience this past year plus of baking with this group, I know I have another puff pastry in the freezer. A few more apples (I'll try Gala this time), a trip with my coupon to my favorite cooking store to get that cast iron skillet, and I'll be good to go trying this out once again. I can't wait to do so. Just like I can't wait to see what this year brings baking with all of you.

Happy 2010!