Raise your hand if you ever wanted to run away and live in France. Have you got your hand raised? Me too.
What is it about those Gallic folks, and their beautiful Medieval cities, that makes me want to sell up shop here in Brisbane, and hop on the next plane to Paris?
It’s only EVERYTHING. I love it all. The elaborateness of their scarf-tying. Their music that just sounds like sexy murmuring to a beat. The cobblestone streets, the manicured hedges, the bustling anonymity of Paris, the incredible wealth of art and history.
Obviously, though, the food is the biggest draw card for me. I’m one of those tragic people who lives for the past, and fortunately, France happens to be excellent at preserving the traditions and foods of a bygone era. But more importantly, CHEESE & BREAD.
I have read the book, but I still honestly have no idea how french women do it. In France, it would be all I could do not to feed myself exclusively on a diet of camembert and baguette.
But that’s not exactly true, obviously I would have to balance all that cheese and bread out with a visit to the patisserie.
I’ve never been one for the more dainty items at the pastry shop (sorry jeans!). I’m afraid that I can take or leave a macaron – unless it’s nutella flavoured. It’s the really buttery items that I can’t get enough of. Give me a mille-feuille, with all that buttery pastry and custard, or a pain au raisin anyday.
Or better yet, a tarte tatin. Hot, cold, warm, big small, apple, or otherwise. I am absolutely ridiculously in love with la tartes tatin.
And this is my homage to them. The hand-held version if you will. The pop-tart of tarte tatins. The Tarte Tatin Turnover. Apples cooked until beautifully tender in a sea of dark amber caramel, spiced with cinnamon. The smoky apples are then blanketed in puff pastry and baked into the most delicious, portable tarte tatin, you’ll ever have.
The beauty of this is, there is no need for an oven-safe frying pan. No scary flipping of molten hot caramel tarts, and you get the perfect mix of tender, caramelised apple, and crisp buttery pastry in every bite. I cannot hurry you to the kitchen for a batch of these fast enough. Vite! Vite!
- 3 medium-sized green apples
- ½ cup (110g) caster sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 pound puff pastry (or two 8inch/20cm square sheets)
- 1 egg, beaten
- To make the tarte tatin filling, peel and dice the apples into roughly ½ inch/1 cm pieces.
- Place a large, heavy based saucepan onto a medium heat and add the sugar and water to the pan. Cook over a medium heat, until the sugar melts and turns to an amber caramel - you can swirl the pan, but do not stir.
- Once an amber caramel is reached, carefully add the apples and cinnamon to the pan (the caramel is VERY HOT, please be careful!).
- Cook the apple pieces for five minutes, or until they are just tender, and then set the pan aside to cool for at least 15 minutes. The apples will look translucent and dark brown.
- Preheat the oven to 375F/180C.
- Roll out the pastry, and cut out eight 4.5inch/12cm squares.
- Divide the apple equally between the squares, then use a pastry brush to paint a little beaten egg around the edges of each pastry square.
- Fold the pastry over to enclose the filling, and press the edges gently together.
- Place the turnovers onto two lined baking sheets, with plenty of room between them.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until dark golden brown and crisp.
- Leave to cool briefly, and eat hot, warm or cold. Bon appetit!