Tuesday, 14 January 2014
Clara's Tarte Tatin
Tarte Tatin, is a special French dessert which when cooked well, remains a fond memory after it is eaten. This beautifully golden, caramelised tart is best served warm if possible, but not too hot, so that the flavours can really develop.
Clara, a delightful young French woman, is cooking Tarte Tatin and invites me to help and learn her secrets to cooking this family recipe. It is I suspect her signature dish. As we commence preparation I realise that there is no actual recipe and she cooks by instinct and feel. This is my best attempt to recreate the recipe. It tasted delicious.
15 red apples (the cheapest available)
100g white sugar
2 sheets puff pastry
1 teaspoon canelle (canelle=cinnamon)
Chop butter into pieces and add to a deep stove top pan with white sugar and cinnamon. Melt these ingredients together and cook together to caramelise.
To make caramel, keep stirring and cooking butter, sugar and cinnamon until starting to brown.
Add cored and chopped apples to pan, cover with caramel and simmer apples until soft. This might take a while on a low heat. Allow caramelised apple mixture to cool.
Place apple mixture into a lightly greased spring form cake tin. Place 2 sheets Puff Pastry along top of apples, tucking in any excess around the apples.. Place holes in top of pastry and cook in a moderate oven at 180 deg. until browned.
Remove from the oven and gently ease a knife all the way around the edge of the tart. Carefully place a large heatproof dinner or serving plate over pastry and quickly turn over the cake tin releasing the tart on to the plate so that pastry sits on the plate and the golden brown apples and a syrupy sauce are at the top.
The dessert can be refrigerated until eaten if not eaten warm.
Dear Reader, have you had a memorable Tarte Tatin experience anywhere? If you have cooked it yourself, do you prefer using red apple varieties available in Australia, or the Granny Smith apple for a more tart flavour? In Europe, there is access to beautiful home grown apple varieties for cooking, which we don't really have here.