Continuing for several weeks more, the peak of a fresh apple season is upon us making this an especially good time for trying new apple recipes. I’ve made apple tarte tatin for you before, but not one as authentically prepared as the one created by quality ceramic ovenware/bakeware maker Emile Henry, of France. And, while I’ve presented apple cakes in the past, none were as simply combined as the Apple Cider Pound Cake from the famed Junior League of Baton Rouge’s “River Road II: A Second Helping” cookbook. Then there’s the apple cider. Two years ago, I shared an apple cider recipe for Thanksgiving, but it did not include separate instructions for making spice sachets, or an on-link for the printable gift tags to go with them. (My, but our friends at Whole Foods Markets think of everything.) You can expect to see more recipes using a variety of apples as we move deeper into the season, but for apple tarte tatin, I like Golden Delicious apples best, which bake up tender enough to be immensely palatable, yet firm enough to keep their shape when unmolded. Purchase Golden Delicious apples that are firm and smooth with good yellow color, avoiding those with soft spots, or signs of mold. Besides baking, use Golden Delicious apples for making sauces, salads and for eating out of hand.
Apple Tarte Tatin
Recipe courtesy Emile Henry
Emile Henry’s Flame® ceramic Tarte Tatin dish can be used in both a traditional and microwave oven and can be placed on direct heat for making the recipe’s classic caramel sauce. (It also can be used directly from the freezer, or refrigerator, to a hot oven.) Dishwasher-safe, the dish comes with a serving tray, as well as a 3-year warranty. Purchase Emile Henry products in stores carrying quality bakeware, from on-line sources, or from the manufacturer at www.emilehenry.com.
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
6 to 8 apples, depending on size, peeled and cored
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
5 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
For the pastry: Cut the butter into small pieces and mix it into the flour and salt using your fingertips in order to get a fine breadcrumb-like mixture. Add the egg yolk and water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture comes together to make a smooth ball of pastry. Knead the pastry with the palm of your hand to avoid over-handling it. Leave it in the refrigerator wrapped in film for 1 hour. Making the tart: Heat the dish for a few minutes over a low heat. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of the sugar onto the bottom and leave to caramelize. Still on the heat, add half of the butter, cut into small pieces. Remove from the heat and place the apples cut into large quarters over the bottom (rounded side down into the caramel) squeezing them together. Add a second layer of apples, rounded-side up, so that they fit snugly between the first ones. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top and dot with remaining cutter cut into small pieces. Roll out the pastry and cover the apples, tucking the edges inside the dish. Place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes. Once removed from the oven, leave to stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto the serving platter. Makes 8 servings. *Note: You can use puff pastry instead of shortcut pastry.
Kitchen Ade Note: In lieu of an Emile Henry Tarte Tatin dish, use a 10 to 12 inch heat-proof/oven-proof skillet.
Apple Cider Pound Cake with Caramel Glaze
Recipe source: “River Road Recipes II: A Second Helping, the Junior League of Baton Rouge, Inc.
(A winner at the Texas State Fair, Submitted by Mrs. J. B. Maguire, Jr., Pampa, Texas)
Shop River Road cookbooks at: www.juniorleaguebr.org/?nd=recipes
1 cup margarine, softened
1 cup shortening
3 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs (room temperature)
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a large tube pan.* With an electric mixer set to medium speed, beat margarine, shortening and sugar for 10 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Add other ingredients. Beat well. Bake for 90 minutes (or until cake tests done.) Note: If well covered, cake will stay moist for many days. *Kitchen Ade Note: This is a large cake. Be sure to use a pan with a capacity of 14 to 16 cups.
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup margarine
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients and boil for 10 minutes. Drizzle over cake while cake is still warm.
Mulled Apple Cider with Spice Sachets
Recipe and photograph courtesy Whole Foods Market: Natural and Organic Grocery (www.wholefoods.com), used with permission
6 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons cardamom pods
3 tablespoons dried lemon peel
3 tablespoons dried orange peel
3 tablespoons whole cloves
3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
2 tablespoons whole allspice
1 tablespoon black peppercorns (optional)
Place cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods in a plastic bag. Crush cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods using a rolling pin or the bottom of a sauté pan or cast iron skillet. Mix the crushed spices with the rest of the ingredients. Portion into six ready-made muslin tea bags or make your own with cheesecloth and kitchen string.