Deconstructing Miss Tatin

Last month, after posting the ultimate tagliatelle bolognaise recipe, I kind of promised myself I would have done this little linguistic excercise more often. At the moment I can’t cook much of italian food (see, I’m in Japan for a couple of months), and I’m far too excited about discovering tofu, nabe, kanten and everything else to even think about tiramisù or spaghetti alla carbonara. But settling down in a new city, discovering day by day markets, products, recipies and inventing new ways to use my (quite poor) kitchen gear made me think I might as well continue writing in English once in a while, since I very much doubt my usual readers could be interested in things as, well, alternative ricecooker uses for instance. I mean, before heading to Japan I didn’t even knew what a ricecooker was in the first place! (after all, you’re supposed to stir your risotto for the whole 17 minutes it takes to get cooked, not to poor raw rice it in some futuristic machine and wait untill it's done :D)

Now, this little deconstruction thing all started with these red Fuji apples… They're from Nagano and arrived at my Kyoto home in a cute box with apples printed on it, along with other edible thoughts, a very much appreciated welcome-in-Japan gift by Chika (you can also see her photos of the apples and their very own natural environment here). So I had a lot of apples and, well, I love fresh apples but ... they were really a lot of apples! :-) So I started thinking about cooking some: first, I dressed up a couple of apples for Valentine's day, and then all at a sudden I started fancying on … Tarte Tatin?! It was not the craving-like thoughts people get when they are too far from home for too long (actually till now I haven't been craving for anything Italian, nor European for that matter:-)), it was more something like the desire to play around with both the idea of Tarte Tatin and my little Japanese kitchen (equipped with a pan, a simple microwave, a smal gas broiler and, oh, my friend the ricecooker, and that's about it).

Perhaps the souvenir of a nice slice of warm melting Tatin tart came to my mind just because Japanese are so found of French pastry, who knows... Anyway, this is what I came up with: 3 really basic, no-fuss, tatin-related recipies that can be made with almost no tools at all. Of course, none of the following is authentic Tarte Tatin, though each of them contains one or several of the elements that makes Tarte Tatin so special: apples, of course, caramelised sugar, a crisp and buttery dough and, eventually, some crème anglaise on the side ;-) And when I’ll have my oven back I’ll owe you one authentic version too :-). For now, who knows, maybe there are other asia-based cooks around, wondering what they could possibly make from a box of apples and no oven ;-)


Custard, apple and caramel pots

Peel one apple and dice it into small cubes. Sautée the apple with one tbsp butter until slightly golden, add 2 tbsp cane sugar and let caramelise over medium heat. Set aside. Bring to boil 50cl fresh milk with 2g powdered kanten, let boil for 10 seconds then remove from heat. Whisk 2 eggyolks with 2 tbsp granulated sugar until pale. Poor the milk over the yolks and sugar, mix well, set aside. Divide the diced and cooked apple over 4 little dessert glasses. Fill up with the custard and let rest until completely set. Prepare caramel sauce heating 4 tbsp granulated sugar with one tbsp water, when caramel is blond, ad 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp heavy cream. Mix well and let rest until caramel is at room temperature (if you feel like it you can add 1 pinch of fleur de sel salt to the finished caramel sauce). Pour one tablespoon caramel sauce on top of each custerd cream, serve at room temperature. Serves 4 little pots.



Caramelised apple crumbles

Peel one apple and dice it into small cubes. Sautée the apple with one tbsp butter until slightly golden, add 2 tbsp cane sugar and let caramelise over medium heat. Set aside. Soften 2 tbsp butter using the microwave. Crumble 4 tbsp flour with 1 tbsl sugar, a tiny pinch of salt and the softened butter. Scoop the diced apple into 4 small ramequins, divide crumbles on top, and finish the crumbles under the gas broiler until crumble is golden, taking care of not burning them. Let rest for five minutes and serve, eventually with some vanilla custard or sour cream on top. Serves 4 small ramequins.



Ricecooker Tatin cake

Peel two apples, cut each apple into 8 wedges. In a non -stick pan, heat gently 2 tbsp butter, add the apples, toss them around a little and let cook at medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add 3 tbsp cane sugar, mix delicately and let cook until caramelised. Grease the ricecooker's bowl with a drop of oil and poor the apples and all the remaining caramel into the bowl. Arrange the apples to cover the bottom of the bowl. Then put together 70g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour with 50g (1/4) cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, a pinch of salt, 3 tbsp melted butter and two eggs, mix well and pour this batter over the apples, covering them completely. Put everything back into the ricecooker and push the on-button. That's it! :-) ps. after cooking the cake, allow it to cool in the mold for 20 minutes, and unmold delicately on a serving plate. Serve with crème anglaise or a scoop of vanilla icecream. ps: Thanks to Clea for the basic ricecookercake recipe! ;-). Serves 4 europeans (or 8 japanese ;-).


1 commento:

  1. so beautiful. your photography is inspiring. can't wait to look at the recipes in detail.