Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tarte Tatin

I've been trying to imagine how someone who has never heard the name "Tarte Tatin" would go about pronouncing it if he or she saw it written somewhere. 

Let's say you're American. Would it be pronounced tar-tee tay-tin? I sometimes feel like going into a restaurant and ordering one with that pronunciation, just to watch the surrounding reactions. Acting funny (if the word stupid is coming to mind, trust me, you're on the wrong path here...maybe) in restaurants is a family thing, I guess. My dad and I have a long-standing tradition of getting a gyro on Saturdays for lunch, and they ask you for your name at the counter. Let's just say that my dad has been a great number of actors and politicians throughout the years for the gyros staff. Oh, and did I mention they call out your name so you can go pick up your order? I must be a weird kid, because I'm twenty three and it still makes me laugh.

If you're not the type to laugh at embarrassing situations in public, you've got two solutions regarding tarte tatin. Actually, three: the first would be never to have tarte tatin in your whole life (and you'd be missing out). The second would be to know that tarte tatin is pronounced "tart tah-tan", or pretty close to that. The third way to go would be to make your own, so you never have to say it out loud. And, you can eat as much as you want. As you can guess, I like the third option.

So what is tarte tatin, exactly? Apples are baked in a skillet with a lot of delicious salted butter caramel, covered with a thick sheet of puff pastry, and placed in the oven to become golden and delicious. That's pretty much all you need to know. And for those of you cringing at the thought of making your own puff pastry, store-bought is fine as long as it's thick enough (otherwise, use two sheets) and made with real butter. For those living in France, the best way to go if you're in a hurry is probably to convince your baker to sell you a block.

And for the record, hearing "apple pie" pronounced by a non-English speaker is pretty nice too. I've heard "a-pell pee"...something worth trying on my next trip to the US.

Tarte Tatin
serves 6 to 8

10 medium baking apples, peeled, cored and halved
7 TB salted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 c. + 2 TB sugar
1 thick sheet puff pastry (thawed if buying frozen)

Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle sugar into skillet and let it melt until you have an amber-colored caramel, stirring as needed. Add butter and whisk well until melted and homogenous. Remove from heat.

Arrange apple halves in skillet so that they stack up against one another like falling dominos.  Cook over medium-high heat until apples are soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Cut a thick sheet of puff pastry (or stack two sheets if using a thin version) the size of the skillet. Cover apples and "tuck" the edges of the puff pastry in.

Bake 30 minutes or until puff pastry is nice and golden. Let cool in skillet before inverting onto a plate.

Can be served warm or cool, with cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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Paris Pastry said...

I've been so wanting to make a tarte tatin for ages! I need to buy a skillet asap. Yours look perfect!

claudia said...

this tarte tatin looks really good, and i could not help but chuckle at what you wrote, since i am a French teacher in the US! Love a good tatin, yours looks scrumptious!

Anonymous said...

Your tarte tatin looks awesome! Yummy!! :)

Mercotte said...

c'est un classique que l'on apprécie toujours et la tienne est superbe carrément ! j'aime quand les morceaux de pommes sont gros !

Y said...

Ha, your family is hilarious. My dad used to take pride in embarrassing us in any way possible, when we were kids.

Juliana said...

Yummie, your tarte tatin looks so tasty, love the idea of having lots and lots of apples...

Barbara said...

It's one of my favorite desserts, Lucie! And yours looks marvelous....heaped with apples.
We always giggled at pronouncing crepes and shih tzu!!

Ingrid said...

LOL, I like a good laugh AND tarte tatin! :)

Diana said...

Speaking of pronunciations my friend pronounces entree as entry. "I'll have the steak entry."
The apples combined with the puff pastry look delicious; this is going to be the first thing I make once I own an oven-proof skillet.

Reeni said...

So funny - your Dad sounds like a gem! I have never made a tarte tatin! But I have a ton of apples begging to be used. Delicious!

grace said...

i live in fear of being ridiculed for mispronouncing words. seriously. my vocabulary is much larger than people think simply because i avoiding saying words i'm not positive how to say! meanwhile, great tarte tatin. it looks heavenly!

Kris Ngoei said...

I will go witht he third option as well...... afterall your baking looks so tempting and scrumptious... Let's tart tartan :-)

Sawadee from Bangkok,

Seo Services said...

very nice look wow looking so nice ....