Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tarte Tatin and a Cookbook Giveaway

First things first ... tarte tatin! Have you ever had a slice of this delicious, upside down, caramel and apple tart? If not, I suggest you run through this post and give it a try as soon as you have a moment in the kitchen! This dessert is a real staple of my Parisian upbringing. Growing up, we had this tart for many different occasions, usually enjoying it warm with a melting scoop (or two!) of vanilla ice cream. This is really one of the staples of French cuisine and one of my favourites. It's a simple concept (apples, flaky dough, caramel) and the end result is not only gorgeous but incredibly delicious as well.


Invented by the Tatin sisters in France, this tart came about when the sisters were flooded with clients at their restaurant and came up with a clever way to recover their damaged traditional 'tarte aux pommes' (apple tart). The solution was to bake the tart up-side down, with the crust on top of the filling, and to flip the tart over once it was nicely caramelized by the butter and caramel used in the filling. This photograph doesn't really do the tart justice - but to tell you the truth, I made the tart in the evening and by the time it was out of the oven it was begging to be sliced... right then and there. An instagramed picture will have to do the trick for this post then!
There are a few special dishes that really taste like home for me and this is definitely one of them. So if you're in the mood for a quintessentially French meal, I would suggest starting with a frisee salad with lardons and melted goat cheese on toast, followed by a sole meuniere (delicious, velvety fish fillets made with a brown butter sauce, herbs and lemon), a side of haricots verts and a slice of warm tarte tatin, with some ice cream or a generous dollop of creme fraiche to finish off.

Before, I share with you my personal recipe to make this tart, let me introduce this week's giveaway! I will be giving a copy of Jodi Rhoden's Cake Ladies to one lucky reader. This book is filled with southern cake recipes, from Fresh Coconut Cake, to Mississippi Mud Cake and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. If you've always wanted to learn more about Southern desserts, this is the cookbook for you! To win your very own copy of this cookbook, simply comment on this post and let me know what cake you enjoy making the most (or what cake you enjoy eating the most!). Leave a comment on this post or write a comment on Chocolate Shaving's Facebook page with your answer. You can write a comment on both sites and your name will be entered in the contest twice. The contest ends on November 18th, at midnight. The winner will be drawn at random and you must be a Canadian or American resident to enter. Good luck and I look forward to hearing from you!

Tarte Tatin
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water
A few squirts of lemon juice
1 pinch of salt
4 small knobs of butter
4-5 small tart apples
1 sheet of thawed puff pastry

Peal and core the apples. Cut in quarters and leave to set in a bowl with a little lemon juice to prevent browning.

Preheat your oven to 400F. In a small pot on medium heat, add the sugar and water. Using a small pastry brush, carefully dab the sides of the pot with water to prevent the sugar from crystallizing on the sides of the pan. Let the sugar and water form a homogenous mixture and add a few squirts of lemon. You can gently swirl the pot, but dab the side of the pan to remove any sugar crystals after doing so. Wait until the sugar starts to caramelize and turns an amber colour. This takes a little time, but once it does, the caramel can quickly burn and become bitter so be vigilant!

Once the caramel has a nice, rich amber colour, add the pinch of salt, remove from the heat and pour into your pie plate. Add the knobs of butter, evenly distributing them. Add the prepared apples, core side up, carefully pressing them down against the caramel. Be extremely careful at this stage as the caramel is still very hot (this is not a step to have your children help with!). Arrange the apples snugly to form a circle inside the pie plate. The least space between the apples is best as it will make the tart look prettier as well as ensure that it holds together, so try to fit as many apples as you can in one, neat, even layer.

Roll out the puff pastry to form a disc just a little larger than your pie plate and about 1/8 inch thick. Carefully place the disc on top of the apples, and fold in the pastry into the pie plate to form the crust, making sure the pastry has contact with all of the apples. The key is to tuck in the pastry on following the inside rim of the pie plate. Gently press down on the pastry to make sure the caramel, apples and pastry are in contact. Gently prick the top of the pastry with a fork and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is lightly golden brown. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Using your serving plate, carefully invert the tart onto the plate. Serve with immediately with some ice cream or creme fraiche. Enjoy!

Update: The lucky winner of this giveaway is Julie from Willow Bird Baking.

44 comments:

Carrie @ CarrieAndJonathan.com said...

Carmel cake - yummmmmm

Jon Simon said...

My friend's mother a Holocaust survivor seeks out Tarte Tintin even in her now more fragile health. It's a classic of her childhood. She judges French restaurants solely on the quality of their abilities with this desert. Perhaps I can wow her with one more pleasure

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

I love making tunnel cakes, with mousse hearts in the middle :) I think coconut might be my favorite flavor. Really moist coconut!

Pretty tart! :) I have yet to make a tarte tatin.

Sarah H.P. said...

My mom makes the most amazing chocolate ganache cake for birthday's and I love standing alongside her in the kitchen to create it! It's not only delish for the stomach, but the eyes as well!

Elodie said...

Actually, tarte tatin is my favourite dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yummy!!!

jenn923 said...

My grandmother's icebox chocolate cake still haunts me to this day. The ganache frosting is my all time favorite.

Deborah said...

Your tarte tatin sounds so delicious!! My favorite cake growing up was always cherry chip with marshmallow frosting. I recently tried to make my own version from scratch.

Chocolate Shavings said...

Jon Simon: I hope you get to make the tarte tatin and give her a small slice. It's the small pleasures in life that really count.

Deborah: I would love to see your version - sounds delicious!

Cindy B. said...

The cake I enjoy making and eating the most is Carrot Cake! cindyskitchen@yahoo.com

AnneHD said...

I LOVE southern cakes!
Hard to say which cake is my favorite... I make a mean rum pound cake (which I sinfully cover with rum french meringue buttercream), and I love the pure simplicity of a vanilla layer cake with vanilla buttercream, but my very favorite cake might be the coconut layer cake (filled with coconut milk pastry cream, frosted with vanilla german buttercream and covered in lightly toasted coconut shreads) I made for my own birthday two years ago. Sweeeet memories.

davita said...

A Chocolate Carrot Cake with a Chocolate and cream cheese frosting. i love making and eating this cake!

davita said...

A Chocolate Carrot Cake with a Chocolate and cream cheese frosting. i love making and eating this cake!

Pat R said...

Glazed coconut pound cake causes my mouth to water........

psrrn@aol.com

Pat R said...

I commented on FB on Chocolate Shavings

psrrn@aol.com

Ashleigh said...

Nothing beats a three layer coconut cake with cream cheese icing...perfection! :)

suburban prep said...

I love a milk chocolate buttercream cake. Lately though I have been making a banana cake with cream cheese frosting. YUM

msgb245 at gmail dot com

JuLo said...

I love making bundt cakes. They always come out looking so good. But I love eating a nice big chocolate layer cake. Yum! They never look as nice though. Heh

Rebecca said...

Totally a toss up between Italian cream cake with cocounut AND my husband's family recipe for poppy seed cake!

Jennifurla said...

I need to try this, never had it...but it makes me drool!

Sara said...

I really love making coconut cake! That tart tatin looks amazing! :)

gohabsgo said...

I love pumpkin cheescake!
And I can't wait to try your tarte tatin recipe!

Taryn said...

I love making CUPcakes... do they count? And I most enjoy eating Boston Cream Pie, or similar cakes that have a cream or mousse layer in between the cake layers. Fun play on textures and super moist and flavorful!

Chloe said...

Salted Caramel Cake from your archives! It's how I found your blog, and I've made it over and over. AMAZING. chloephalan (at) hotmail.com...

WineDineDivas said...

Your Tarte Tatin looks so delicioius!
Hm... it is very hard to pick one - but allas the Marzipan Layer Cake is always the winner in our house :)

Stef said...

I LOVE molten lava cakes! Oooh..gooey, melty chocolate..Might have to make tonight a dessert night!

Mini Baker said...

I love make coconut cream cakes & chocolate cakes and then there's of course carrot cake! (I really like cake hehe) your tarte looks gorgeous!

Stephanie said...

Wow this looks amazing, but intimidating to make. I can't wait to try though! :)

I love black forest cake!! And spice cake during the fall and winter months is always fabulous!

Nelly Rodriguez said...

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Love!

jt said...

I enjoy eating ice cream cake! yum!

Amanda Thompson said...

I love making cheesecakes because everyone always raves over them!

adb6{at}humboldt{dot}edu

Teslaca said...

Chocolate cake with a ganache filling and chocolate icing is my favorite every time!

Cakebrain said...

Whoah! That looks so yummy! I always order it when I see it on a restaurant menu.

moonsword said...

Chocolate Pistachio Surprise Cake is my current favorite. Thanks!

dina vanessa mercado said...

soooo yummmy!!!! love to tasteit... love your blog, following you now, hope you could visit my blog too... kissess!!!

Fatty Bumpkins said...

I really love eating German Chocolate Cake. I just saw a German Chocolate Cheesecake and I have to try it. Thanks for the awesome giveaway :)

Renee
fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

Carmen said...

My favorite is a hot milk cake recipe I have. It's so moist it doesn't need frosting!

Mary said...

Holy this tarte looks fantastic! Can't wait top try the recipe out. My favourite cake to make is strawberry cheesecake. So classic but delicious!

simplydre said...

My most requested cake from my husband is a pineapple carrot cake with pecan, cream cheese frosting! I enjoy this the most because he first requested it thinking it would be too challenging for me. Was he wrong!

Cookin' Canuck said...

That tarte tatin is so pretty and I love how easy it is to make. As for my favorite cake - I'd have to say anything with chocolate mousse.

thehappyglut said...

I love making victorian sponge cakes! :)

Lynnette said...

Apple, apple, and more apple. There isn't anything apple that I do not like!

kyleen said...

Mhmmm I love caramel and apples. I've never tried Tarte Tatin, but maybe I will this weekend (: Yours looks delicious.

Carole said...

Caramel cake with caramel frosting

taggartylofgren@yahoo.com said...

I love a a classic dark chocolate cake recipe with rich dark chocolate frosting. Also love Hummingbird cake!

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