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 ;-)