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Thanksgiving apple dilemma

  • j

So here’s the deal: At our thanksgiving we usually have two desserts, one is usually something my sister brings which is bland and has little flavor (her allergies, aversions, and politics prevent her from using anything decadent) So I am assigned the other dessert. This year she is making a fruit salad. Our family are not big pumpkin fans so I want to make an apple dessert. But not just a plain old pie. I am looking for something truly amazing and rich with apples. Any suggestions?

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  1. If you post on the homecooking board you'll get a lot more responses.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DT

      Sorry about that post.

    2. how about apple crisp? it's an easy pleaser and with a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream on the side... mmm.

      1. Julia Child's Tarte Tatin qualifies as decadent... apple, butter, sugar, and puff pastry - and it's a lot easier than pie. She had this in several of her books, but the best (with pictures) is in The Way To Cook. I would suggest that you borrow this from the library (actually, I would suggest that you buy it). If this isn't possible and you want the recipe, email me directly.

        9 Replies
        1. re: applehome

          Definitely - I make this every year for Thanksgiving, though in the Way to Cook the recipe does not call for a puff pastry dough - just a very easy dough that you can make in the food processor and chill for a couple of hours before using. One tip that has worked well for me - after it is done, invert the tarte onto a plate, line the cast iron pan with foil, put the tarte (carefully) back into the pan by putting the pan on top of the tarte and inverting. This way, you can make it ahead, the crust will not get soggy, you can then easily reheat it a bit and invert and have a perfect Tarte Tatin. Great with vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche. Also, I think the recipe calls for 6-7 apples - I would use one more than the larger number the recipe calls for - they always seem to cook down such that I end up with less apples than seem to appear in the photo. Lastly, the first part of the recipe where you make the caramel - it's just butter and sugar - the first time I made it I thought something was wrong - it looked like a real mess seizing up in the pan - but be patient, keep stirring, and it will turn to caramel. Her basting time is a great one, and I use a heavy duty metal baster, not a plastic one. Good luck - it really is a wonderful dessert and worth the effort.

          1. re: MMRuth

            Found Julia's recipe from The Way to Cook online and linked below. Does this recipe match what's in the cookbook? She calls for 5-6 apples, so sounds like you'd recommend 7 medium? Recipe calls for cutting apples into eighths which seems small to me. I thought they were usually left larger like half or quarters?

            I've made tarte tatin before, but would like to try Julia's recipe. I prefer a regular butter pastry (like in this recipe) as opposed to puff pastry.

            To the OP: Tarte tatin is very rich and jammy and I love it w/ "homemade" creme fraiche. Other ideas would be an apple strudel or upside down apple cake. I have a very good recipe from my Food and Wine cookbook (1999) for caramelized apple upside down spice cake that I could pass along. Perfect w/ soft whipped cream.

            Link: http://labellecuisine.com/archives/pi...

            1. re: Carb Lover

              That's the same one as in the book, so yes, I'd recommend 7 apples - the golden delicious I usually see are pretty big, so the 1/8ths are still pretty chunky. I've never made it from any other recipe.

              1. re: Carb Lover

                I'm interested in making this for Thanksgiving, but am trying to figure out how long ahead it could be done. In your experience, will the tarte tatin stay good just sitting on its serving plate overnight?

                1. re: susancinsf

                  Good question. The times I've made it, I've usually served soon after it was made. I was consulting what looks to be another good recipe by Anne Willan in Chateau Cuisine, and she says that you can make up to 8 hrs. ahead of time. Says that you can keep unmolded in pan (as long as it's not aluminum or uncoated cast iron) and then warm gently on stove before unmolding to serve. 8 hrs. seems a bit arbitrary though...I personally think making the night before would work, but hopefully others can chime in.

                  1. re: Carb Lover

                    I've used my method (posted further up in this thread) making it the night before - since it involves reinserting the tarte into the pan, so that the crust doesn't get soggy, and then reheating - it is just as good as if you just made it. The one time I tried making them in a silicone muffin pan it was a real mess. Usually when you invert it, an apple slice or two will stick to the pan and you have to nicely insert it again. With the muffin pan version, I found myself having to that with each individual tarte.

                    Also, you can make the dough a couple of days ahead of time. Not counting that, start to finish, it probably takes 1.25 hours (I'm a slow apple peeler, parer, slicer), before you put it in the oven.

                  2. re: susancinsf

                    My wife likes to make individual tarte tatins in a muffin tin (add sauce & apples to each hole, top the whole thing with a sheet of puff pastry and slice the pastry into squares), and we sometimes have more than we eat right away. So I've had both fresh tarte tatin as well as left over from the very same batch. Honestly, I think part of the pleasure of TT comes from the warm (but not hot) and fresh caramelly sauce that gets created. Certainly you can still eat them 24 hours later, but they become "hmmm, that's nice" instead of "mmmmm, that's awesome."

                    Would it be possible to start the TT and finish the preliminary bake and rolling of the dough ahead of time? Then the day-of, put the dough on and do the second bake when you sit down to eat dinner? Set a timer so you don't forget about it. It should be just perfect when it's time for dessert. If possible, that's what I'd do.

                    -nick

                    1. re: nja

                      I like the individual tarte idea...

                      I thought about the doing part ahead and finishing second bake day of...if I get a chance to experiment before Thanksgiving will report back! Thanks...

                      1. re: susancinsf

                        I love the muffin tin tartes. The hardest part is getting them all out without ruining some. I used to try doing one at a time while holding the rest in, but that never work well. Instead I get the smallest plate or tray that will fit over the tin, flip them all out at once, put each on a serving plate with a spatula, then drizzle any sauce left on the tray over the tartes. Remember to butter the top of the muffin tin so the pastry doesn't stick.

            2. Tarte Tatin

              1. How about my Autumn Apple Tart? Take a look at the link below.

                Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                1. How about an apple bread pudding? There are a few recipes on Epicurious, below is one I've been meaning to try.

                  Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LKM

                    I made an apple bread pudding a few weeks ago. It was great. Recipe was different than Epicurious- had yogurt, oats and applesauce. Have attached it- there are 16 recipes for apples and pumpkins.

                    Link: http://www.lhj.com/lhj/slideshow/slid...

                  2. Here's some suggestions from a recent popular UK cooking show - Gordon Ramsay is probably the UK's top chef.
                    http://www.channel4.com/life/microsit...

                    http://www.channel4.com/life/microsit...
                    (Note that the photo on the first link actually belongs to the 2nd link recipe
                    )
                    Alternatively try this crumble recipe, swapping the rhubarb for apples:
                    http://www.channel4.com/life/microsit...

                    1. l
                      La Dolce Vita

                      While thumbing through Francois Payard's "Simply Sensational Desserts," I found a recipe for an apple cake. Payard writes: "My father created this recipe twenty years ago, and he still sends one hundred of these apple cakes a day from his shop in Nice."

                      It might be worth looking into. I also think Applehome's suggestion about Julia Child's apple tart tatin is a good one.

                      Jeff, I'm intrigued by how your sister's politics would prevent her from using decadent ingredients. Is she vegan? My curiosity is off-topic, so if you want to email me, I'd be fascinated to learn more. My email is CMSilk@earthlink.net.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: La Dolce Vita

                        I've made Payard's apple cake. It's quite good.

                      2. Try this apple-cream cheese torte from epicurious. I haven't made it, but it's been in my recipe box for ages.

                        Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: piccola

                          I second this recommendation. The recipe appears to be identical to one that my mother has been making for decades, except in a larger diameter french tart pan. It's really beautiful that way, and so good!

                        2. The "colonial" apple pie with cranberry and cornmeal crust is a favorite at our house. I cut down the sugar a bit. It isn't rich but the flavors scream holiday.