It’s apple season!
As many babies born in autumn, I LOVE fall. The weather, the sweaters, the color of changing leaves, the apples. All of these factors make up an absolutely wonderful 3 months. This week, I decided to take a culinary risk and try my hand at a Tarte Tatin, which is basically an apple tart. But, of course, I had no intention if following a recipe or any sort of traditional methods. Armed with only the basic knowledge of fruit tarts, I set to work. Seeds from Gala, Honeycrisp, and Courtland apples covered my counter and kitchen floor as I wrestled with each core. When I finally progressed to cutting I had to remind myself that the sweet and tangy apples were for the tart, not a mid morning snack (have you ever noticed that apples automatically taste so much better when their meant for something else?). After sprinkling the ivory gems with a little cinnamon and apple cider vinegar to prevent oxidation, I turned my attention to the crust. I knew that a bad crust could sour any beautifully prepared tart but instead of playing it safe, I chose Risk (what’s a little fun in the kitchen, right?). It started off as any crust, a little AP/cake flour, some butter, salt, sugar. But instead of ending there I kicked it up a notch. Flecked throughout the layers of butter and flour were grains of steal cut oats soaked in coconut milk and a homemade orange marmalade, both for texture. As I mixed and loved the dough I could feel my hands pleading it to turn out ok, selfishly willing the flavors to mesh and bond.
Once the prep was finished, it was time to build. I layered slice upon slice of sweet, tart apple, mixing my varietals into a multidimensional collage of reds and yellows. The cinnamon wafted to my nose carrying the strongest sense of nostalgia with it. Once the apples where arranged and the dough covered the top, it was time to bake. The best part about baking to me is not necessarily eating your product. It’s watching the thing you worked so hard on evolve and mature right in front of your eyes. I feel baking is the process of becoming a parent every time something goes in the oven and comes out transformed.
While I don’t have a picture of the final product (take that as a clue that it was delicious), here is a picture after the apples were laid. I hope this inspires you to cease fall, experiment with your bounties, and try a tart.
Always with love,