I first made an apple tart tatin when I was a senior in highschool. I didn’t have time to work but I wanted to have some money to spend so my mom paid me to do all the grocery shopping and make dinner a few nights a week. It was a great way to me to relax and de-stress after school before starting homework and allowed me to hone my cooking skills and cultivate my creativity while making a little money on the side.
One of the things I was doing at this time was cooking my way through the Cooks Illustrated magazines. Cooks Illustrated is by far the best cooking magazine out there for people who want to learn how to cook, not just how to read recipes. Each one has a full article on the technique, ingredients, or methods used and why it is important so that that knowledge can be translated to other recipes. For example, in their recipe for Ground Beef Chili they explain that baking powder helps beef retain it’s moisture and brown better. Now that I know this I frequently add baking powder to beef and let it set for about 20 minutes before browning, even if the recipe doesn’t include this step.
Anyways, I found the recipe for apple tarte tatin in cooks illustrated, and it was fall so I made it for a Thanksgiving dinner with my then boyfriend (now husband’s) family. It was a total hit. Now we have our own apple tree that is producing a ton of fruit right now so I pulled out the recipe. But to be honest, I was feeling pretty lazy so I made up a different, much easier recipe. I used puff pastry instead of making a dough. I wouldn’t dare call it authentic but it is definitely tasty.
Melt 4 TBS of butter on med-low in a 12″ cast iron skillet. Add 1/4 c brown sugar, 1/4 c granulated sugar and melt until dissolved completely. When it starts to bubble add the whiskey (or brandy would be good too), and cook stirring for about a minute. Add the chopped apples and vanilla. I like to leave them all different sizes so you get a variation in the texture of the apples. I also leave the skin on. Our apples have very tender skin, but if you prefer no skin then peel them, and if you prefer an even texture then make all your apple slices the same size. Sprinkle the apples with cinnamon, ginger, and lemon juice and bake for about 10 minutes. Once the apples are softened, gently press them down with a spatula to flatten slightly. Place your trimmed puff pastry on top, tucking it down into the sides with a spatula. Cut a few slits on top to release steam and bake for another 20-25 minutes until the top is golden. Cool it for 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate. You could make some pastry flowers, or use cookie cutters to make some pretty shapes for decorating. Just bake them separately and set on top after you have inverted the tart. Top with ice cream, whipped cream, or as I did with Mascarpone Sorbet.
4-5applescored, halved or quartered (you can leave the peel on or remove it )
Pre-Heat oven to 400F
In a 12" cast iron skillet melt the butter over med low heat. Add the sugars and stir to dissolve.
Let the mixture bubble for about 1 minute then add the whiskey and cook for 1 more minute.
Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and stir.
Arrange the apples in the pan with the cut sides down, layering a bit.Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon and ginger.
Bake for 10 minutes until the apples begin to soften. While the apples bake, trim your puff pastry into a circle to fit your skillet. You can use the excess to make pretty shapes for decorations, but bake them separately.
Use a spatula to gently press down the apples to even the top. Carefully place the puff pastry over the apples and tuck the sides down into the pan with a spatula. Cut a few slits in the top for steam to escape.
Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
Let cool for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate. Serve warm with Mascarpone Sorbet or with ice cream, whipped cream.
This is No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread- AKA the easiest bread you’ve ever baked in your entire life. No kidding. If you’ve been following me for any length of time you know how much I love cooking and mixing cocktails, but HATE, yes with all caps, HATE baking. It never works for me, it makes a mess, it’s complicated, it’s time consuming…… But this recipe has made me into a convert. Thanks to Girl Versus Dough I will have fresh, homemade bread whenever I want. And just think of how impressed all your guests/host will be when they find out they are using HOMEMADE bread slices to mop up that delicious HOMEMADE dip- you’ll be the hero of the party.
This recipe is from Girl Versus Dough, I have only made the slightest change by adding roasted garlic. Check out How to Roast Garlic for instructions and throw some in there. Try it with, try it without, try other tasty additions, but just promise me you will make this. Pinky promise. You won’t regret it. Also, if you throw in any other wonderful flavors please share. Thanks.
Mix all the dry ingredients, then add the warm water and mix with a wooden spoon until a wet, sticky dough forms.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for 8-18 hours. (It would work well to mix up in the morning before leaving for work). When it's ready it will have risen, be flat on top, and have lots of bubbles visible.
Pre-heat oven to 450 F and place a 6 qt Dutch Oven inside.
Flour hands, punch down the dough. Dump it out onto a floured square of parchment paper. Shape into a ball, dust with flour. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes while the Dutch Oven pre-heats in the oven.
Carefully lift the parchment paper and set the dough in the Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Then bake an additional 10 minutes without the lid until the top is golden.