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Monday, January 4, 2010

Tarte Tatin two ways with Homemade Créme Fraîche

Tarte Tatin two ways with Homemade Créme Fraîche
So...lately I've been thinking a lot about writing. My writing to be exact. About my writing on here. I can always locate the times I've felt overwhelmed, I sometimes have found it hard to think...therefore write. Or maybe I'm thinking too much and my brain is just too crowded to let anything out. Everything keeps swimming around in circle eights and curly q's trying to get to the right sector. I don't know. Sometimes after a post that's felt rushed, I would feel something like guilt...or just disappointment in the post of certain parts of the post. I enjoy writing and I want to continue to enjoy writing.

But in the times when my mind does draw an actual void...because it does...I think it's okay just to let the food talk. Because sometimes there was no reason for making what I made. I just felt like making it. Reason may not be the right word. No meaning, maybe? This wasn't a long, long family recipe that I finally tracked down through my master detective skills. I didn't read a book that wouldn't let me get fried alligator balls off the brain until I tried them myself. I'm not starting a strict orange food only diet. No meaning.

On the other hand, reason could argue that I was in the mood to use the little cast iron pans I have that haven't seen the light of day since we moved into this house 9 months ago. Or that the cupboards are a bit bare, but I do have a decent amount of apples I picked up from the Farmer's Market the other day...and still plenty of cranberries in the freezer. Or perhaps the best reason, that I needed something to eat with the créme fraîche that would surely go to waste soon if I didn't do something about it.
Tarte Tatin two ways with Homemade Créme Fraîche
So, it was just the food. I got lost in it and walked away with a sense of accomplishment. Maybe...just maybe...that was enough. And maybe I shouldn't expect myself to write anymore than that. Not every time. Wow, I sure used an over? abundance of italicized words trying convey my thoughts.

Tarte Tatin, two ways
I used one 6" and one 7" cast iron skillet for each of these tarte tatins. Amounts used will work interchangeably with either size...but using an amount slightly less for the smaller pan is what I did.

for each pan use:
1/4 stick butter
1/3 c. sugar
1 Tbs. water
3 apples, peel, core & slice into 1/8ths OR 1 1/2 c. cranberries
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 of a single pie crust

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

In each pan, over medium heat, melt butter, 1/3 c. sugar and water until it forms caramel, ~7-9 minutes. Shake pan occasionally. 

Add fruit to pan, reduce heat to low and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Cook another 3-5minutes, shaking to coat fruit with caramel, then remove from heat. 

Roll out 1/2 pie crust to fit over pan w/ ~1/4 - 1/2" overhang. Tuck the edges of the dough under itself. Cut a few slit in top.Tarte Tatin two ways with Homemade Créme FraîcheBake for ~20-25 minutes, or until crust is golden and juices are bubbling through.Tarte Tatin two ways with Homemade Créme FraîcheLet sit for ~15-20 to set up a bit, then cover with a plate and carefully flip upside down so that crust is now on the bottom and fruit is on top.
Tarte Tatin two ways with Homemade Créme Fraîche
If any fruit sticks in the pan, simply scrape it out and back onto the crust. Looking at that picture, I'm pretty sure somebody was lucky recipient of caramelized cat hair cranberry.
Tarte Tatin two ways with Homemade Créme Fraîche
This was so great served with créme fraîche. The créme fraîche added a cool tang to the sweetness of the caramel and the apple in the first...and the tartness of the cranberry in the second.

Créme Fraîche
from the Home Creamery by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley

2 Tbs. cultured buttermilk
2 c. heavy cream

Combine buttermilk and cream in a medium saucepan and heat only to tepid (no more than 85 degrees F). Pour into a clean pint jar. Cover partially and let stand at room temperature for 8-24 hours or until thickened. 

Stir and refrigerate at least 24 hours before using. The cream will continue to thicken and develop in fridge. Will keep ~2 weeks.

So, this didn't seem to thicken up enough for me. It was just like the thickness of buttermilk after the wait, actually. So I left it out longer. I bet it was because I don't have access to raw cream right now...and the only kind available everywhere I looked was ultra pasteurized. Ewww. So I cheated. I stirred in a bit of sour cream. It was good. So sue me.

This was our December assignment over at Forging Fromage...hence, made it, needed to use it so I could blog it...not that I didn't want to...just got pushed to the back burner.