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October 25, 2012

Danger Pie! aka Tarte Tatin

I like pie. I like danger. The only thing better than regular pie is pie that involves danger.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...... tarte tatin.

Go find your heaviest skillet - I love this Le Crueset version. It made the perfect sized tarte for two.

What's tarte tatin? Its a luscious upside down apple pie with amazing caramel sauce. Its like heaven. Like upside down pie heaven. You can't believe it.

Your first step is to remove any over-interested cats or children from the kitchen. Remember this involves danger so you don't want to take any chances. Then go and find yourself a real recipe. To tell you the truth I couldn't find one that I liked. I believe I learned how to make tarte tartin from an old copy of the Cordon Bleu's cook book (I think this is it.). I couldn't find a good recipe on line - all of them just irritated me.

For any reason if the recipe says to "wrap a pre-made pie crust" or mentions "puff pastry" then just keep looking for a real recipe. Get yourself some lard and some butter and make your own crust. And peel and core your own apples.  That's what I did... and then I followed these steps...

Lotsa butter, some sugar, moderately high heat....and you've got yourself some caramel sauce. Apparently there are 97 ways to make a caramel sauce...and I'm not sure if mine was to code but it was syrupy, brown, and delicious. Add your apples and really mound them up because they will cook down.

The apples get cooked on top of the stove in the sauce in your heaviest skillet - a cast iron one does a great job - just until they are soft. Then slap the crust on top and bake in the oven.

Make sure there are plenty of vents for the steam to escape. Just tuck in the edges of the crust.

Sure putting a crust on scalding hot apples covered in a hotter-than-boiling sugar sauce sounds like danger but we aren't even to that part yet. After about 20 minutes or when the crust is browned and the sauce is bubbling.... go and get your biggest plate and your Ove Gloves.

Ove Gloves demonstrate the flippin' and floppin' part of the process.

I don't know what kind of witchcraft went into making Ove Gloves but they are the best thing in my kitchen. You can pick up anything hot with them - especially super hot stuff while cooking on a wood stove or on the grill.I use them all the time.

Center the plate over the skillet, hold tight, and invert..then let rest for a minute or two.

Now here comes the dangerous part, put your big plate over the now-even-hotter-than-scalding-apples in a sugar sauce....and flip it. Do not send scalding hot apples flying all over your kitchen. Firmly hold the plate against the extremely hot skillet and invert it.



The tarte should flop right out of that skillet and onto the plate in one fell swoop. Give it a second so all the apples land on the crust. You might need a spatula to release any hangers on. And voila! Tarte tartin.

Caramel-y lusciousness on a flaky crust.

To really do it up right you could serve the slices in a low sided bowl with a lot of cream.  And that is how you make danger pie. Who's fearless? Wanna give this a go?

Happy Thursday everyone! Guess what I'm having for breakfast?

ps Since the oven was hot I made another pie too...cuz.. you can never have enough pie. Am I right?

Regular pie - no danger involved.