Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Just one more... for now

Okay it's not really pie it's a tart. Tart tatin to be exact. Something I've always wanted to make but have always been to intimidated to try. No scared of would probably be more accurate. Making caramel, caramelizing the apples, pate brisee, flipping it all out onto a plate, there's a high chance of failure with this one! I have read many recipes and thought; maybe someday... I came across a recipe in Fine Cooking magazine in 2003, that gave step by step instructions with pictures. Yes that's how long I've thought about making this recipe. Oh and I kept the magazine as well... What does that say about me? I thought maybe I could make this ...someday.
Anyway, it was to be Hubs last meal before deploying to Iraq and I asked what he'd like for dessert. (the rest of dinner had already been decided on.) Well he said pecan pie as he was walking through the kitchen to pack. No sweat I can make that in my sleep. Anyway dinner was under wraps, I thought. Then several minutes later he walks back through the kitchen and throws out "How about Tart Tatin?" What can I say?? "okay" (weakly without conviction) "Oh, you don't have to, pecan pie is fine" he says sensing my hesitation. "No I'll make it. I've been intimidated long enough! I can make tart tatin! I will make it!! If you want Tart Tatin for the last home cooked dessert you'll have in a year, then that's what you'll get!!" Well actually, I just said "I'll make the tart tatin!" This time with a little more confidence.
As I reread through the recipe(the one I've kept from Nov 2003), I realized there are only 4 ingredients in the tart. Apples, butter, sugar, salt. Wow. It's amazing what can be done with so few ingredients. Here is the recipe I used from Fine Cooking. All the pictures with the step-by-step instructions are included on the website.
So I've done it! I'm no longer afraid of Tart Tatin! It's not an easy dessert to make but not as bad as I'd feared. Give yourself plenty of time to make this. It takes 30 minutes, at least, to caramelize the apples. There's no quick way around that!

Making the caramel was the most worrisome part for me. The recipe stated it needed to be a rich mahogany color and not to under cook the caramel. I think I cooked my caramel a bit too long, but it still tasted great. My Pate Brisee making skills are not what they need to be but the crust tasty.

I'll make this again...someday...but I won't be afraid:)


Peabody said...

Way to face your baking fears.

Julia said...

Oh yum, pass a slice over!

Anonymous said...

It looks great! I love tarte tatin. So glad you finally made it becuase it certainly turned out great!!

eviedee said...

I love Fine Cooking! They are the perfect companion in any fearful culinary endeavor. Your tart looks terrific!

gigi said...

Great job! I'm inspired to over come my fear of tarte tatin as well!

Half Baked said...

Peabody, Thanks!
Julia, Come on over!
Katie, I'm glad I did too. It wasn't as scary as I'd thought it would be:) thanks!
eviedee, I love Fine Cooking too. The recipes are consistently good and easy to follow.
gigi, I hope you try it! maybe it won't take you 4 years like it did me!!!

Cynthia said...

Hiya! I finally have the pumpkin fritters recipe for you after an interesting afternoon in the kitchen :)

I don't have your email address to send it to so if you can drop me a line here: I'll be happy to pass it on.

Nora B. said...

Wonderful! I love tarte tatin but still haven't made some myself. I feel braver now, so I really should have a go....

Half Baked said...

Thanks Cynthia!! I hope you didn't go to too much trouble!! I'll drop you an e-mail.
Thanks nora b,
I hope you give it a try:)