Tarte Tatin, inspired by Jacques Pepin


“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

~Carl Sagan

This morning I wanted to make myself a breakfast of some tartines and an egg. However, as I began toasting my tartines I got busy with other things, and I burnt them! Rather than try again, I fried my egg and made myself some toast, which is really just the less sophisticated cousin of the tartine. I enjoyed one slice with the egg right on top, and the other slice I slathered in cream cheese and Bonne Maman mixed fruit jam. An espresso to finish off, and all is right with the world!

Afterwards I turned my attention to making some individual tartes tatins using a recipe that I watched Jacques Pepin make on his show “Fast Food, My Way.”  Some people look to Julia Child for inspiration, while others go to Anthony Bourdain. For me, it’s Jacques Pepin. He makes it easy to conjure up stunning dishes quickly at home. And with his background as a chef in some of the finest restaurants in Paris as well as serving as personal chef to three heads of state, you know his food isn’t lacking in taste!

His recipe for quick tarte tatin is very simple, using bread as the base, rather than making a pastry.  I know! It sounds too easy to be delicious, right? But take my word for it, these little tarts are fantastic!

Begin by peeling and slicing the apples. For mine I took a circular slice out of each apple that would fit nicely in the bottom of miniature ramekins because I wanted to make individual servings, then I chopped the rest up into small pieces.

Sauté the apples in some butter and brown sugar, and sprinkle just a touch of cinnamon over them. Add about half a cup of water to speed up the process of softening the apples. While those are cooking over medium heat, put a little brown sugar in the bottom of each ramekin. When the water has evaporated and the butter and the brown sugar start to caramelize, place an apple ring in each ramekin, and top with the rest of the chopped apples dividing them evenly between the dishes.

At this point cut circles of sliced bread to fit in each ramekin. (If you are not using individual ramekins, simply trim the crust off several slices of bread, enough to cover the top of the apples in your backing dish.) Butter the bread circles, lay them over the apples buttered side up, and place in a preheated 375° oven. Bake 30-35 minutes until the bread is crisp and brown. Immediately invert over serving plates. Drizzle of red berry jam or with a scoop of ice cream. Eat!

“And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart: Your seeds shall live in my body, and the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart, and your fragrance shall be my breath, and together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.”~Kahlil Gibran



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