Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie: Parisian Apple Tart

I'm still in Peru. Holla! By the time you read this, I will have already hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and will be in the Amazon, taunting piranhas and taming capybaras and hopefully not contracting malaria from mosquitoes the size of grapefruits. Good times!

But of course I wanted to vicariously participate in all the TWD recipes with my peeps, so the week before we left was a frantic blur of working, packing, baking, and pre-blogging. This recipe was especially awesome because I was able to rush home from work (by way of the grocery store), make the recipe (including adding extra steps), bake the tarts, and photograph them, all in the space of about an hour, before losing the natural daylight. I also had time to compose the world's worst run-on sentence!

My recipe change was to caramelize the apples before baking. I don't like it when fruit dries out during the baking process, and I thought that putting raw apples in a 400* oven for 25 minutes might not leave them as luscious as I like. So, I made a caramel of butter and sugar, and cooked my apple slices for about 10 minutes, until they were softened and a nice golden brown.

It's important not to pre-cook them too much, so they don't get mushy. I also kept the caramel that I cooked them in, and brushed on an additional layer after they came out of the oven, so they were moist and glistening:

I thought these tarts needed a little ice cream love, but I didn't have any around and time was short, so I decided to do the next best thing: creme anglaise. I made a vanilla-cinnamon anglaise to go with (and under, and on top of) the tarts. The vanilla and cinnamon flavors went perfectly with the caramelized apples and the buttery puff pastry. After rushing around to make this recipe and photograph it, I couldn't wait to give it a taste. I thought it was great! Really simple, but clean, classic flavors. I loved how fast it came together, but how it looked and tasted like a sophisticated dessert. I will definitely be keeping puff pastry in the freezer to whip these babies out in case of dessert emergencies.

Next week I'll be back to my normal life, and I look forward to baking in 'real time' and catching up with everyone's blogs.

18 comments:

  1. Hope you're having a lot of fun in Peru!! Your apple tartlet looks absolutely delish!

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  2. Wow - Peru! And here I was boasting about Connecticut. Love the creative creme anglais you used! That sounds delicious.

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  3. I have no other word than ...WOW!

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  4. Carmelized apples, anglaise - very appealing! Lovely.

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  5. Oh you little traveling snot.

    I love your tarts, the creme anglaise is a ridiculously superb idea.

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  6. Awesome deliciousness! And what a fun vacay!
    I love that you caramelized the apples and I love the shine!

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  7. Brilliant idea to caramelize the apples first.

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  8. What an awesome idea to caramelise the apples first. Have a great vacation :D

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  9. Your changes to this recipe have taken it beyond the next level! I didn't make apple (I went with peach and raspberry) but now I have to try apple. I hope you're enjoying your trip to Peru!

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  10. Fantastic idea to caramelize first. Mine looked a little sad out of the oven, so I topped them with a brown sugar syrup.

    Hope you took plenty of pics of Machu Picchu. I have Inca Ruin Envy!!!

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  11. Your tarts look fantastic!

    Did you really hike the Inca trail? I went there but I took the train and the bus to Machu Picchu - that was enough roughing it for me!

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  12. Beautiful! Have fun hiking the Inca trail.

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  13. Oh wow. You totally took this to the next level with the caramel apples and the creme anglaise! They look incredible. Hope you're having fun in Peru!

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  14. Hope you're having a great vacation! Glad you were able to try this one before you left. I can't believe how gorgeous your tartlets look with the glistening apples. Caramel and apples together can't be wrong.

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  15. I'd like to swim in that creme anglaise.

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  16. I LOVE your Parisian Apple Tartlets! Carmelizing the apples prior to baking the tartlet is genius! I'm going to have to try that.
    I had to Google 'capybaras' and holy cow, a rodent that is over 4' in length! Quite the adventurer!

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  17. Wishing to visit macchu picchu myself -- definitely a must do. Have fun and stay safe in Peru!

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