By Paul Cormier, Salamanders of Kemptville
Last week, I gave you mystery author Jeanne Dams’s recipe for Plum Torte. Strangely enough, my mother Yvonne’s Tarte Tatin is very close to it in spirit, except that it uses apples. Apples are perfect for this time of year and this recipe is close to every French Canadian’s heart. So here is Tarte Tatin the way my mother wrote it down (translated into English).
Tarte Tatin Grand’Mère
- ½ dozen of your favourite cooking apples (advice from your local orchard works)
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1X10 inch pie crust, homemade or frozen and thawed
- Preheat your oven to 380F
- Peel and core the apples; then cut them into quarters
- Roll out your pie crust to a 10” circle on waxed paper; chill in the refrigerator
- Melt the butter in a 10 inch cast iron skillet and stir in the sugar till you get a syrup
- Add the cinnamon; this is optional but it wasn’t for my mother
- Add the apples and cook them till the syrup turns a caramel colour
- Coat the apples well and remove the skillet from the stove
- Turn the apples so that the round side is facing down; arrange them in circles
- Place the cold pie crust over the apples; tuck in the sides and poke vents with a fork
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake your Tarte Tatin for about a half hour
- When nice and golden, remove the skillet and set to cool for another half hour
- Free up the pie by running a knife around the edge of the pie crust; shake the skillet a bit
- Take a pie plate and put it over the top of the skillet; turn the skillet and plate over quickly
Of course, this is done with safety in mind, e.g., oven mitts and whatever else to make the operation smooth. Mom used a glass pie plate (she always did).
So, this is actually upside down cake, um, pie. It is amazingly tasty and great warm (with a rum sauce made of butter, rum and brown sugar) or cold with vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche. You might also try the pumpkin ice cream that is around at this time of year for an added flavour.
All the best from [email protected].