November 24, 2012
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I wrote a blog post about tarte tatin a long time ago, before I started this blog. It was when I was in LA and considering the whole blogging thing, and I opened a free WordPress account, set the visibility to “private,” and wrote a little post about this French apple tart.
I guess it must not have been the right time. The writing felt stilted, and my photos were from my phone, and there wasn’t enough light in my kitchen, and the apples stuck to the pan. That one post hung there on the internet, lonely and unread, for a year or so until I deleted that account.
I thought it was time to revisit this recipe since this blog now seems to be alive and well. There are good reasons why I thought it would be a good idea to start with this dish on that long-ago blog — it’s fancy-sounding and pretty-looking, but ultimately simple to make, and most of all, it’s one of those desserts that I just crave. Sticky-sweet caramel encasing soft, warm apple pieces that collapse into sauce under your fork, all on top of buttery puff pastry.
Then there’s the flipping of the hot hot pan onto a plate since this is, in essence, and upside-down tart. Some apples will probably stick, but just scrape them off with a spoon and stick ’em back on the tart. No one will care.
For an extra bit of decadence (and because the foie gras from that party was still around), I shaved a bit of the cold foie gras on top of the slices of tart. If the tart is still a little warm and the foie is very cold, the foie stands up in pretty curls for a few minutes before melting into a rich puddle on the apples. Heaven.
October 26, 2012
This is one of those recipes I had to make five times over before I posted it on the blog, because each time I made a batch I ate all of it before I got pictures.
You’d be surprised how quickly one smallish Asian girl can scarf down two apples’ worth of chips, especially if they’ve been baked to a caramelly brown and have the scent of pumpkin spice coming off of them.
Can you tell I’m obsessed? In fact, I’ve got another batch of them in the oven right now, making the apartment smell of apple pie heaven. I keep thinking I’m going to wrap them up all pretty and give them to friends as little gifts, but then I just eat them all again. I mean, it’s not like they’re deep fried or anything.
October 2, 2012
Say that you are having a party. Say, a large party, one with lots of guests. The kinds of guests you want to impress, but are svelte health-conscious types, so you don’t want to go overboard with dessert and serve a seven-layer chocolate cake or something.
This. This is what you should serve.
Not only are these tarts impressively beautiful, they’re something of a Cinderella dessert: despite all their frills and puffs, at their hearts they’ve got the honest flavor of down-home apple pie, all cinnamon and sugar and sweet homey reminiscence.
September 20, 2012
You see this? This is me trying to figure out how to take photos of food in autumn light.
The moodiness of the photo in no way reflects my feelings about this salad. You guys! Brussels sprouts! Are back! What? Why is no one else as excited as I am about raw sprouts?
I guess I’m biased. The first time I tried Brussels sprouts was in the Momofuku recipe, and that’s an auspicious beginning if I’ve ever heard of one. I had never been tortured with boiled or steamed sprouts in my youth, when they’re so clearly meant to be fried or roasted.