apples

Apple Tarte Tatin

Isn't it strange when you look around at all the people in the world, and realize that every single thing that they're wearing, they chose to put on that day. 
Isn't that insane? 
Clothes are perhaps one of the only things that people have any real control over. 
Dressing up is a way to be empowered. 
This Apple Tarte Tatin is like your Little Black Dress that shows enough cleavage so that you feel voluptuous but not slutty.  
It's perfect and easy going and classy. 
It's simple. 
It's divine. 
It goes with everything. 
And everyone loves it. 

Sophia Loren 

Distressing Facts in Life Part I: Many people do not know what an Apple Tarte Tatin even is. 

 

Basically it's apples that are cooked in butter and caramelized sugar until they almost have the consistency of jam. It's a slice of beauty. 


Do yourself a favor. 
Get classy. 
Get the Little Black Dress out. 
Make Apple Tarte Tatin
Exercise some beautiful control in your life. 

Apple Tarte Tatin
via SmittenKitchen.com

6 medium apples (I used Pink Lady apples and they were oh so good.) 
Juice of half a lemon
6 tablespoons (3 ounces or 85 grams) butter
1 1/3 cup (266 grams) sugar, divided
Puffed pastry, chilled or a single Pie Crust

A 9-inch ovenproof skillet, heavy enough that you fear dropping it on your toes


Peel apples, halve and core apples. Once cored, cut lengthwise into quarters (i.e. four pieces per apple) and cut a bevel along their inner edge, which will help their curved exteriors stay on top as they rest on this edge. (You can see this beveled edge here.) Toss apple chunks with the lemon juice and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Set aside for 15 minutes; this will help release the apple’s juices, too much of them and the caramel doesn’t thicken enough to cling merrily to the cooked apples.
Melt butter in your skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle in remaining 1 cup sugar and whisk it over the heat until it becomes the palest of caramels. Off the heat, add the apples to the skillet, arranging them rounded sides down in one layer. Lay any additional apple wedges rounded sides down in a second layer, starting from the center.
Return the pan to the stove and cook in the caramel for another 20 to 25 minutes over moderately high heat. With a spoon, regularly press down on the apples and baste them caramel juices from the pan. If it seems that your apples in the center are cooking faster, swap them with ones that are cooking more slowly, and rotate apples that are cooking unevenly 180 degrees. The apples will shrink a bit and by the end of the cooking time, your second layer of apples might end up slipping into the first — this is fine.
Preheat oven to 400. Roll out your puffed pastry to a 9-inch circle and trim if needed. Cut four vents in pastry. Remove skillet from heat again, and arrange pastry round over apples. Tuck it in around the apples for nicer edges later. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Once baked, use potholders to place a plate or serving dish (larger in diameter than the pan, learn from my messes!) over the pasty and with a deep breath and a quick prayer, if you’re into that kind of thing, unmold the pastry and apples at once onto the plate. If any apples stubbornly remain behind in the pan, nudge them out with a spatula.
Eat immediately.


Marie-Helene's Apple Rum Cake



So I was talking to my dear friend the other day about this new life of mine and she said, "So what have you been up to?"

And after a long pause I said, "I have no idea." 





And it's true.
I spend a lot of time wandering around. 
I sleep and I eat. I haven't accomplished anything major. I write papers sometimes. I talk to strangers who might become friends. And I sit on a blanket at night and look at clouds, and pretend to work. But mostly I just sit and think and dream.





I have discovered something about myself. I'm not really afraid of people. I mean, sometimes I am of course. And everyone has those moments. But in general, I'm way more outgoing than I ever thought I was. Which is really, really great. I feel like I'm finally growing into myself. Which is glorious. 




Other things. 
This cake. 
Is.
Exquisite. 
I mean,
DIVINE. 
Really. 





I think it's the rum. 






Marie-Helene's Apple Cake
from Around My French Table: More than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan


This is so simple it's really a crime not to make it right this second. 


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
4 large apples
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled


Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper or nothing if you're lazy like me.
Whisky the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. 
Peel the apples, cut them in half, and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 1-to-2-inch chunks. 
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until they're foamy. Pour in the sugar and whisk for a minute or so to blend. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Whisk in half the flour and the remaining butter, mixing gently after each addition so that you have a smooth, rather thick batter. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples, turning the fruit so that it's coated with batter. Scrape the mix into the pan and poke it around a little with the spatula so it's evenish. 
Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean; the cake may pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 5 minutes.
Carefully run a blunt knife around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the springform pan. (Open the springform slowly, and before it's fully opened, make sure there aren't any apples stuck to it.) Allow the cake to cool until it is just slightly warm or at room temperature. If you want to remove the cake from the bottom of the springform pan, wait until the cake is almost cooled, then run a long spatula between the cake and the pan, cover the top of the cake with a piece of parchment or wax paper and invert it onto the rack. Carefully remove the bottom of the pan and turn the cake over onto a serving dish.