Monday, May 23, 2011
Mother's day dinner part 2 - Plum & Nutmeg tarte tatin
I adore trying out new desserts. As with baking, I would do it much more regularly if they weren't quite so calorific. Somehow, the healthier ones don't feature quite so much in my list of 'must try' recipes. I'm probably getting my inspiration in the wrong places...
Tarte tatin is one I've been wanting to try for a while. That goey and buttery caramel on the top, along with the double-cooked fruit is something I could eat again and again. I didn't realise it was quite such a versatile dessert - nearly every fruit would work on the top here - typically apples, then pears, nectarines, peaches and plums. We had kilos of plums sitting in our kitchen, and they aren't really the best I've had for eating raw. They're not the juiciest, or the sweetest for that matter. Perfect for desserts though, and they were.
Modified from Epicurious
1kg plums, cut in half with pip removed
2 Tbs demarara sugar (or other brown sugar) plus another 2/3 cup
1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg, fresh if possible
1/2 vanilla pod, split lengthways or 1 tsp vanilla extract
85g unsalted butter
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
Plus crème fraîche to serve
Pre-heat your oven to 200 celsius.
Place plums, lemon juice & zest, nutmeg, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of demarara in a bowl and rest for 30 minutes, allowing the spices and sugar to seep into the plums.
Melt the butter in a 20cm oven-proof pan, and when melted add the 2/3 cup of demarara. (Alternatively, you can transfer the plums into an oven-proof pan late on.)
Place the plums centre-down into the pan in tight circles, the drizzle the juices on top. Cook over a medium heat, shaking every now and again to prevent the plums from sticking. The plums are ready when the syrup is a deep red colour, which should take about 20 minutes.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
The cut the puff pastry to fit perfectly over the top of the plums, piercing a few holes in the pastry to allow steam to escape. Then transfer to the oven for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden.
Cool the tarte tatin for half an hour, leaving it in the pan.
Before transferring to a serving plate, gently heat the tarte for 3 minutes or so, to release the syrup. Then flip onto a wide and flat serving platter.
Serve with crème fraîche.