Friday, May 18, 2007
Apple and Pear Tartin
So, Mama Mallow has been a busy little baker since I've been away! My two week vacation has come to a close, and I am officially in awe of just how productive my blogging partner has been, and how happy she's been making both her tummy and the tummies of those near and dear.
We had discussed doing a Mother's Day Post, but the opportunity escaped us, and though I for the first time in 9 years was actually WITH my mother on Mother's Day, and cooked a lovely meal for her and my dad, I am posting the fun a little late.
It was such a pleasure cooking for my parents. They are no slouches in the kitchen. My mom tends to make the savory dishes, and more often than not my dad is perfecting a baked good. Some recipes that stand out to me from my Mom's repertoire are Cioppino, insane pasta dishes with tons of fresh vegetables and flavor, and a Christmas morning Strata beyond belief. My dad bakes a profound pie, a chocolate cake for champions, and home-made bear claws. This is just a sampling of the wonders that come out of the family kitchen.
I considered trying to cook something with my mom that was a special recipe of hers that I could share, but in the end decided to let her kick back in my living room, look at my honeymoon pictures, and taste one of my creations.
For dinner I made Chicken With Forty Cloves Of Garlic. WAY easier than you would imagine. How hard is it to brown a bunch of garlic? I accompanied this with some easy roasted vegetables (cauliflower, red and green peppers, olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes. Easy as it gets!).
For dessert, I was GOING to make some home-made ice cream to go with the Tartin, but my mom is calorie conscious, and I decided to let her save her big indulgences for her trip to France the next day!
This Tartin was so easy, and so satisfying. You can easily use any type of fruit - my original idea was to use peaches, but was not able to buy them in time to allow them to ripen a bit. The result is a lot like a Pineapple Upside Down Cake - and there are few things better than that! I think I would use even more fruit next time, though I couldn't figure out how to cut the pears and apples in order to fit more into the dish (maybe next time I'll use round slices and layer them into the pan in a spiral). Oh, and I forgot to add the currants. They would have made the treat even more festive. And home-made ice cream would have made this even better.
Apple and Pear Tartin
6 T butter (plus extra for baking dish)
1 medium pear
1 small apple
1-2 Tab dried currants
1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup + 2 Tab flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350.
Butter a 9 inch pie or baking dish, arrange fruit in bottom of dish in an artful way, most appealing side facing down.
Combine 1 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water in sauce pan and cook on high until it turns a warm amber color, swirling frequently, not stirring (warning: Once the mixture starts to turn a yellowish color, watch the pan closely. I burned the first batch, and ended up with a candy-bottomed sink).
Cream 6 Tabs butter and 3/4 cup sugar in mixer on medium with a paddle attachment until fluffy. Lower the speed to low, and add eggs one at a time, followed by the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine only, do not over mix.
Pour batter over fruit in pie dish, and bake for 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool 15 minutes before dusting confectioners sugar over the top.