Tuesday, January 5, 2010
TWD's 2nd Birthday - Tarte Tatin
Two years ago, when Laurie at slush got Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan for Christmas, she put out a message on her blog. She planned to make one recipe from the book each week, and invited others to join her. Tuesdays with Dorie was born, and hundreds of us have glommed on to her idea and aspiration.
Two years ago, I really didn't know what a blog was (no, I hadn't been living under a rock). I found Tuesdays with Dorie six months later, and wished I could participate, but not only did I not have a blog, but I was about to be without a kitchen. That's when Laurie threw down the gauntlet...join by Oct. 31 2008 or forever be on the outside looking in.
Kitchen or no, blog or no, I knew I couldn't let TWD escape me. I set up my blog and joined. Two weeks later, my kitchen was demoed. Two months later, my dream kitchen was finished and I rejoined my online buddies in making recipes from the quintessential book for the discerning home baker. I never dreamed that blogging would merge my old love of writing with my perpetual love of baking and sharing.
As Laurie is nothing if not inclusive, she queried the group about which recipe should be chosen for the two year anniversary (Dorie herself chose the first anniversary recipe). Laurie ultimately picked two recipes for our second anniversary.
Now, if I could still fit into my favorite jeans, I would probably have made both of these recipes, but I chose the Tarte Tatin. After all, Dorie and I share a love of Paris and its food, and it's a dessert I've never made. For me,TWD has been all about trying new things and honing my craft and it just seemed right. Many of my fellow TWDers are making the Cocoa Buttermilk Birthday Cake, and some are even making both.
This dessert is (please don't throw things in my direction) pretty easy, unless you're forgetful like I am. It requires you to make caramel in a cast iron pan, layer apples and then top with puff pastry. I rolled out the puff pastry with the paper still on one side, and it was extremely hard to peel off after I set it on top of the tart. After baking, you face the most difficult step--flipping the tarte tatin onto a serving platter. Even that is manageable with your third hand. What, no third hand? No worries. You're certainly a neater flipper than I am. Seriously, this requires one pan and a knife to peel and cut the apples. The results are a spectacular, unctuously gooey caramel apple experience that will earn you many fans. Even over-caramelized like mine, the apples are the star. If you make this, think about sprinkling a little Vietnamese cinnamon on the apples before putting the puff pastry on. If you'd like the recipe, you'll find it here. Even better, buy the book and discover your baking muse.
Thank you, Laurie, for all you do for us. And especially for inviting us on this journey.