Finn here, reporting live from Zombieland! (ie. life with a newborn)
But hey, we’re three weeks in, and everyone’s still alive! Colin’s back at work, so Evie and I are spending our days eating and sleeping- which sounds awesome- except, obviously, she’s the one doing all the eating and sleeping. I’m lucky if I get a piece of toast in my mouth before noon. 😉
I do get into the kitchen when I can, though. For better or worse, cooking is still one of my major stress relievers so, on the weekends,when I have extra hands to take care of little one, I still find myself putzing around the stovetop and rummaging through the fridge.
Grocery shopping- that’s a whole other story, we’re not attempting that very often- however it’s made me get especially creative with my recipes. Iron Chef: Use What You Have in the House.
Apparently, it’s a funny foible like this that led to the original invention of the tarte tatin.
Rumour has it that in the 1880’s Stéphanie Tatin, who then ran a hotel in central France with her sister Caroline, invented the original Tarte Tatin by accident. Overworked and overtired one day (sound familiar…?), Stéphanie was putting together an apple pie and left the butter, sugar and apples cooking too long. Seeing the caramelized mess she created, she placed the pie dough on top of the filling instead of the other way around, creating an upside-down tart, and served the mistake to her guests with a healthy scoop of cream to dress up the mistake.
Much to her surprise, the guests were very pleased with the dish and thus, it became a staple on the hotel menu, eventually spurring copycats around the area and, eventually, the world.
Tarte Tatins often use shortcrust for their pastry, but it’s not uncommon to see puff pastry used instead. In my experience, there are pro’s and con’s for each. Shortcrust tends to hold up a little better than puff pastry, if you’re hoping to make this tart a couple hours or even a day in advance of serving. Conversely, using pre-made puff pastry makes this dish particularly quick and easy and, if you’re serving it right away, the buttery crust is much lighter and flakier than a traditional shortcrust.
Since I am also overworked and overtired (and lacking in the ingredients for a proper shortcrust)… puff pastry it is! I made this tart to celebrate Colin’s first official Father’s Day, using what I had in the house.
In place of the traditional apple filling, I used seasonal peaches. Add a hint of ginger and a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream… this fall treat officially transformed into a to summer delight.
|Gingered Peach Tarte Tatin|| || |
- 6 large peaches, peeled and halved
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅔ cup butter
- 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 square frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the fridge
- Vanilla ice cream, to serve
- Melt the butter in a 9 or 10-inch oven-safe skillet over high heat- I like using my cast iron pan for this. Add the sugar and cook until the sugar caramelizes to a light amber colour, swirling the skillet regularly for even browning. Remove from heat. Add the grated ginger and stir to incorporate.
- Arrange the halved peaches pit side up in the skillet. Try and fit as many halves as possible in, to make the arrangement nice and snug. Return the skillet to the heat and cook on medium low for 20-25 minutes until the peaches have softened and the (now peach-infused) caramel peeking through is very thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Roll the square of puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface, so that it roughly fits a 12 inch by 12 inch square (or circle, if you have such rolling skills). Gently transfer the rolled out dough to cover the peaches in the skillet. Tuck the overhanging dough around the peaches. Using a sharp knife, slice several small slits in the top of the dough, so that excess steam and moisture can escape during baking.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until pastry is golden and puffy. Remove from oven and allow the tart to cool for 10 minutes, to let the caramel congeal (just enough to remove it from the pan, but not so much that it sticks- if you let it cool for longer that is a-ok, just return the skillet to the stovetop for 5 minutes or so on low heat, to re-melt the caramel before flipping the tart out).
- Run a small, sharp knife along the outer edge of the pastry to remove it from the pan. Arm yourself with some oven mitts and the platter you would like to serve your tart on. Place the platter, face down, over the tart and quickly but carefully invert the skillet so that the tart settles on to the serving platter. The tart should pop out fairly easily, but give it a little tap if you need to, rearranging any peach pieces that might have come out of place after it's flipped out.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream.