Cook It! The first Tarte Tatin.(Or rather, in this case: Bake It!)
Hello everyone. Finally, a real-time post in Blogger! Yay! I'd want to apologize for the long wait. Work can be quite demanding at times -- specially when you feel the undeniable urge to scamper off and play every now and then. :P
A couple of weeks ago, I set out to try my hand at my first pie. I had voices in my head duking it out for superiority: one side was saying, "Are you nuts? that's a real pie, fer chrissakes! And you've got crusts and fillings to think of, and the presentation and all that stuff." The other side was going, "Come on. That's just Five. Freaking. Ingredients. You just can't go wrong." A few hours later and a few grocery bags full, guess which side won.
So, by Friday that week, I'd ticked off my mental checklist:
- Pie crust? Check.
- Apples? Check.
- Butter? Check.
- Sugar? Check.
- Pyrex pie dish? Err, check.
- Enough hours of sleep?
Er, we'll get back to that.
Saturday found me half tending to James, and half staying on my two feet for want of sleep. On Sunday morning, though, that's when the real work began.
Here I am, slicing and peeling away at apples, enjoying the scent filling the kitchen, and learning first hand how I should have switched the peeling and the slicing over in the first place. the kitchen did smell really good, though. as soon as I'd finished the batch, I decided to make do without sprinkling lemon or kalamansi juice on them to keep them from browning. Rationale? They'll bake and turn brown in the over later, so why bother? It certainly would save me some energy. hmm... Now that I think about it, I wonder if the pie would have turned out differently had I decided to give it the vitamin c treatment.
This one I liked calling "the lopsided beauty". she does tend to look like an Indian mango, if you look at her from one side.
By the time I'd done caramelizing the sugar (that's supposed to go on top of the pie), I laid out my apple slices as artfully as I could. After I made sure the bottom and the sides looked good, I dumped everything else in the center. Yeh. XD. Much to my pleasant surprise, one tray of small Granny Smiths was more than enough to fill my pie. James and I munched on the leftovers while playing Raiden as we waited for the pie to bake. If that's so, I guess I now have enough apples to bake two more pies. ^_^"
James commented on how diligent a person would have to be to actually bake Tarte Tatin: You add the necessary ingredients, bake it, take it out, add something, put it in, bake it again, take it out, do something, put it back in, and so on. On another point, I think this also teaches how to work quickly yet precisely -- you must remember that while you're laying the apple slices, cutting the butter, laying on the pie crust, you have your oven and gas running in between steps. You learn how to economize on certain resources, as well as how to make use of idle time. Prepping the apples in the morning proved to be a big help, as did rolling the pie crust out while waiting for the apples to bake.
The almost-done pie, cooling on the bamboo chopping board.
And at last, there she is. Isn't she lovely? ^_^
Here's James enjoying a slice of Tarte Tatin. There's a little scoop of melty vanilla ice cream on his plate; he said the pie taste great, even without the ice cream. (And that is why, ladies and gents, I love this man so much. XD)
I'm happy to say it was a great learning experience, and that now I feel confident enough to make the pie for any occasion, provided that I have enough time to prep, I have all the ingredients and tools I need (that includes gas for the oven), and that I've had enough rest to get everything right.
I once mentioned to one of my French learners about this pie, and he told me that Tarte Tatin was not your everyday treat. He said this kind of pie is usually offered on the menus of restaurants where "couples go to have dinner on their anniversary." I'm not entirely sure if he was flattering me or pulling my leg, but I'd like to take it as a sincere compliment. :)
I'd like to thank Drew Kime for his generosity with putting out this recipe to be enjoyed by the whole world. For more manly, drool-worthy recipes, check out his blog, try the recipes, enjoy the results, and tell him I sent you. ;)