Classic Tarte Tatin

Tarte Tatin is my absolute favourite go-to recipe when I need to produce a nice dessert in a hurry. It’s the ultimate crowd pleaser: a classic tarte tatin consists simply of rich apple-flavoured butter caramel surrounding soft, tender cooked fruit on flaky, buttery, puff pastry. Served warm with a dollop of crème fraiche, there is NOTHING BETTER. And your friends – particularly the ones who don’t bake – have no idea how simple it is. (People are resistant to the idea that something so delicious can be so easy to make.) The beauty of a tarte tatin is that you can make it in less than two hours with minimal fuss. If you’re an expert apple peeler and corer, you can make it in under an hour and a half. Continue reading

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Gougères

Okay world, first I have to apologise. I’m really bad at holidays. I forget birthdays. I buy Christmas cards only to discover them in my drawer, untouched, in February. Most of the time I don’t even buy them. I’m okay at Thanksgiving, but that’s mainly because it doesn’t involve quite the same type of advance planning as The Big Winter Holidays. So I’m afraid that I am not going to be your ready source for attractively iced and sprinkled holiday cookies, nor will I be telling you how to make your terrine look like a Christmas tree. (Or a dreidel.)

I do, however, love to throw parties, particularly parties involving lots and lots of food. And alcohol. Continue reading

Rustic Raspberry Tart

Sometimes I cook things because they are perfect vehicles for other foods I want to eat. Witness this “rustic” (read, freeform) raspberry tart. On Sunday I was at the Marylebone Farmer’s Market. It is impossible for me to go to the Marylebone Farmer’s Market without buying Guernsey cream. (Admittedly, I haven’t tried very hard not to buy it. But why should I deny myself?) Having bought the cream, well, clearly a tart had to be made. Continue reading