…Dump ice cream onto it anyway and eat it for dinner!
A while back Marissa and I were chatting about what she was making for a family brunch and she commented that Tarte Tatins (Tartes Tatins? Tartes Tatin?) were a dessert that she frequently prepared for company.
What?! Excuse me?!
Naturally I was furious that she had a go-to dessert that I didn’t know about and plied her for the details.
She sent me the following fabulous email full of tips. It’s long but I’m sharing it in it’s entirety since I think it is very useful:
I have used a variety of different recipes depending on various factors, namely, the type of fruit. At this point I just combine all my favorite things from recipes. So the breakdown is as such:
Some recipes ask for a puff pastry crust. I have done that and it is delicious (duh) but I like using a nice pie crust without sugar. The Melissa D’arabian one works great. I like salty, buttery and flaky as a foil for the caramelized fruit.
Some recipes want you to to cook and bake the tarte in one cast iron skillet, while some want you to transfer it from a skillet to a pan for baking. If there is merit to the switching of pans I don’t know what it is. Perhaps someday I will give it a whirl, but I find something very satisfying about doing all the caramelizing in the cast iron skillet on the stove, then draping the crust right on top of that and sticking the whole thing in the oven. It works beautifully, and makes the whole thing that much simpler.
One thing to note is that one wants to adjust the amount of sugar depending on how sweet the fruit being used is. For example, with tart apples or peaches, I may use a whole cup. I saw mention of pluots; I don’t exactly know what that is, guessing plum and apricot ?, which sounds very sweet in that flat way those types of fruit have. I would try 3/4 cup sugar for that, and don’t forget the lemon.
My other tip is, if you decide to go the one skillet route, when you place the crust on top of the fruit before baking, tuck it INSIDE the skillet (rather then draped over the edge like you would a pie) and make it fit snugly to seal in the fruit. That way it continues to caramelize in the oven AND, more importantly, allows you to flip it out onto a plate when it comes out of the oven. CRUCIAL.
This part seems intimidating and it is not. Let it cool for just a few minutes, enough so it sets up a bit, but def while it is still hot/warm enough to slide right out.
ALL that said, here is the recipe I used for peach tarte tatin. I basically just used it for the amounts ingredients, and then did all the things above which are my standards for Tarte tatin.
Lemme know if you have questions; this is fun!
Isn’t she the best?
Unfortunately I approached this whole thing in a fairly haphazard way and managed to make a few very crucial mistakes.
I usually make two at a time and freeze one but decided that since I was dirtying the whole food processor I might as well make a pie crust army. As mentioned above I used Melissa D’Arabian’s recipe:
1 cup butter (2 sticks), cubed and chilled
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 to 10 tablespoons ice water
Put the butter, flour, and salt in the food processor, and pulse lightly just until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing briefly after each spoonful of water. Keep adding water until the dough just begins to gather into larger clumps. Transfer equal amounts of the dough into 2 resealable plastic bags and pat each into a disk. Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Remove 1 of the disks from the bag to a flour coated surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 10-inch round. Gently fit the rolled dough into a 9-inch pie pan, and refrigerate while you prepare the torte ingredients.
Yield: 2 (9-inch) pie crusts
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/potato-bacon-torte-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback
One I had my crusts chilling I set to work on the filling (feel free to rap that). I did not peel the stone fruits for this (neither does Marissa).
This is where my first mistake happened. I didn’t have enough pluots to follow the recipe amounts so I decided to halve it. Except that I only halved a couple of the ingredients and then couldn’t remember which ones and ended up with double butter. So I had too much liquid and ended up pouring some off, then worrying and adding more sugar, totally messing up my ratios.
Then, still worried about the liquid level I cooked it for too long. And later realized I had my oven too high.
I also used a cast iron skillet I hadn’t used before and noted before starting that it didn’t look quite seasoned yet. So when I flipped it the worst thing ever happened- nothing.
After some tapping and wiggling this happened.
After some scraping this happened.
Wop wop wop.
I walked away dejectedly to pout and then decided not to cook dinner at all because of my failure. Then Eric walked down, commented how delicious it smelled pulled off a piece and pronounced it delicious. My spirits lifted and I re-approached it cautiously with a fresh outlook. Since I had already declared that I was not cooking anymore we decided to eat the whole thing for dinner.
After cutting off the burnt pieces (and-let’s be real-eating them) and topping the whole thing with some vanilla ice cream I was left with this:
Hey, now! Things are looking up!
And it was truly, completely and utterly delicious and totally inspired me to try again.
YUM! Next time I am going to try to actually follow instructions. I actually can’t wait to try again, especially now that I have all those pie crusts!
Have you ever made a tarte tatin?