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!


Leslie said...

Wasn't this one fun? My apples burned so don't feel bad about your pale ones! You can get cast iron skillets in some hardware stores (like Ace Hardware or Orchard Supply here in Calif.) and they're much cheaper than in kitchenware stores. TWD is such a great group, you expressed my sentiments exactly!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm very excited that there's another puff pastry in the freezer so I can make this again SOON.

TeaLady said...

Glad this worked for you. I also used Braeburn and they were quite tasty.

Cast iron skillets are so handy, you should have one just because.

Romaine said...

I like the way you "flipped confidently." You will enjoy an iron skillet--if you don't mind washing things by hand.

Pamela said...

Galas were terrific in this tart. And I almost went out and bought a cast iron pan, too. I haven't yet, but I am going to soon. This was a fabulous recipe that I can not wait to make again!

Jacque said...

Yea, caramel can be tricky. Your tarte looks fantastic, though. Hard to go wrong with apples and pastry.