A mom's journal of the sweet things in her life...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Modern Bakers: Apple Tarte Tatin

I'm not sure why I picked this particular recipe for the Modern Baker challenge when making caramel has proven to be nothing but trouble and epic failures in the past. This recipe was no exception.
Three attempts were made. Three. The first two were abysmal failures. Burnt sugar is not fun to clean up. Those were on the same day - and then I threw in the towel and vowed to try it again on another day when I was not completely overwhelmed with feelings of frustration.
My third attempt was relatively more successful, although in my anticipation of burning the sugar, I pulled it off the heat a few seconds too early, never achieving the deep golden hue that I was going for. I knew that the sugar would continue to cook after being pulled from the heat, and then again in the oven, but even still, it never reached the desired level of 'done-ness'. I went ahead with the recipe regardless. By this point, it was more important to me to complete the task than to 'ace' it.
I made the full recipe for the homemade puff pastry, giving me 4 portions of the dough to experiment with. I have to say that, although I was not exactly enamored with this dessert, I was definitely pleased with the puff pastry. I had always heard that it was difficult to make and the the extra effort was not worth the difference in taste when compared to store-bought. This was not my experience. The puff pastry was very easy to throw together using the food processor, and the resulting pastry had a much more definitive buttery taste than the store-bought variety.
So, was this a success? To be perfectly honest, I haven't a clue. I've never tried it before so I had nothing to compare it to. I did feel like it was missing something -  I couldn't help but miss the cinnamon flavor that often accompanies apple desserts. Having said that though, it was pretty good. I wasn't exactly thrilled with the appearance of the final dessert. I wondered whether my pastry hadn't 'puffed' as much as it should have - but it certainly did so when I'd used other portions of the same batch for appetizers.
At the end of the day, I probably won't attempt this one again. I've had much better success with the other recipes in the book and when it comes to apples, I'd take a pie or crumble over this tart any day. The puff pasty, on the other hand, was definitely worth the effort. I don't imagine buying frozen puff pastry again, unless I'm pressed for time.
You can check out the other Modern Baker's creations in this chapter here.

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