There are plenty of things that should make me feel unhappy about fall — the yellow maple leaves all over the yard that need to be raked up, the perennials are going dormant, and no more fresh produce from our own garden! Unfortunately, the garden didn’t do well this year at all. It was cold all the way through May, plus, I was gone all of July. I didn’t even have time to put stakes up for the 90+ peas that I planted. When I came back from Thailand, the pea plants were all tangled up into a big huge clump. The peas were delicious regardless.
But, I do like fall. Somehow, the very same things that I mentioned earlier make me feel like my crazy, hectic life is starting to slow down. I can now sit in front of the fireplace, enjoying a cup of spiced hot chocolate, or even better, a cup of hot buttered rum while watching a good foreign film.
I feel like baking every time it gets cold. I know I’ve told you this before, but baking seems like the thing to do. It’s just like putting on a sweater when you’re cold. When I get cold, I go into the kitchen, turn on the oven, and bake something.
I baked these cookies Wednesday night when I should have been in bed. It was almost 11 o’clock when I started baking them. They were double chocolate cookies with black currents and pecans. They were alright. In my opinion, cookies should be a little crusty around the edge, soft and chewy in the middle. These were soft and fluffy. They were more like little cakes than cookies, but they served their purpose well–which was my craving for chocolate.
What I really want to rant about next is the tarte tatin that I made yesterday. It is basically an upside down caramelized apple tart. I, for one, really don’t like cooked apples, but this is an exception. The aroma of cooked apples in butter and sugar will mesmerize you. It is the easiest dessert to make! You only have to melt butter and sugar, arrange the apples in the pan, go do something for about half an hour while the apples are cooking. When you come back, you put the puff pastry dough on top, and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes. See, it’s easy. One of these day, I would love to make puff pastry from scratch, but in the meantime, the store-bought ones will do just fine.
The picture of the finished product doesn’t do its justice. Really, you’ll just have to take my word for it.
4 apples (I used Jonagold)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 puff pastry dough, thawed at a room temperature (They usually come in a package of 2)
Core the apples and cut them into quarters. Melt the butter and sugar in a 10 inch frying pan with a heatproof handle. Arrange the apples tightly over the melted butter and sugar. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until the apples are soft. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Lay the pastry dough over the apples, and trim off the edge. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and flaky. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 5 minutes before turning out the tart.