This week marks the second anniversary of of Tuesdays with Dorie. Amazing, huh? Who’d have thought that when our founder and fearless leader, Laurie, began this little project two years ago it would take off like a runaway train? Over three hundred members strong, TWD has become one of the most popular (and populated) baking groups on the web! Even Dorie, herself, has gotten into the act, graciously lending her support and generously giving much-welcomed advice and tips. (I almost fainted the few times she actually commented on my posts!)
American by birth and French in spirit, Dorie Greenspan divides her time between her homes in New York and Connecticut and her flat in Paris. She has written nine cookbooks, (two with Pierre Herme), and won five James Beard and IACP awards for them, including Cookbook of the Year. I have spent many an hour drooling over her pastries, tartes and brulées. She is fabulousness personified! Baking my way through her Baking: From My Home To Yours has been a delicious journey.
For this auspicious occasion, I couldn’t think of a more fitting treat to bake than Dorie’s Tarte Tatin. It is a quintessential classic French dessert. Think of it as a cross between an apple pie and a cobbler. A marvelously French apple pie and cobbler, that is. To make it, sweet, juicy apples are cooked on the stove in lots of butter and sugar until they are hopelessly caramelized. After that, they are blanketed in pâte feuilletée, (puff pastry), and baked to ooey, gooey perfection. Then, the whole thing is flipped with a flourish (ooh la la!) and plated upside down. The result is a light, flaky crust crowned with a mound of très délicieux apple-caramel heaven! C’est magnifique!
The thought of making tarte tatin tends to inspire fear in many, myself included. For me, it was that whole caramelizing the apples part. I have almost burned my house down more than once while cooking sugar! (Just ask my local fire department. They know.) However, after completing this recipe, I was surprised by how easy it was. Yes, there was some nail biting as I waited for my butter/sugar bath to turn the desired color, which by the way, took twice as long as Dorie estimated it would. And, I can’t deny that my heart skipped a little beat as I flipped my screaming hot tarte onto its final resting place. But really, it was no big deal. I would make this tarte tatin again in a heartbeat – and I intend to! I think out of all of the TWD recipes I’ve made thus far, this is one of my all time favorites.
I want to send great, big, giant hug to Laurie for not only starting TWD, but for all she does behind the scenes to keep it going. It’s a lot of work! I’d also like to thank Dorie for giving us such a beautiful, comprehensive and well-written baking bible to work from. And last but not least, I want to thank my fellow TWDers for inspiring me every day.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a big, fat slice of tarte tatin waiting patiently for me to devour!