One of the food blogs I follow, Gilt Taste, recently put out a recipe for Tarte Tatin. I'd never heard of it before, but it's like an upside down apple pie (and plus it's French) so I jumped at the chance to make it for a dinner party.
The hardest part was finding an oven-safe pan. There are hundreds of them at school, but at home all the pans had plastic handles. And the cast iron was too big, so I resorted to unscrewing the handle off of one of the existing pans.
After that was the dilemma of making dough without a food processor (well, I have one but it's tiny). Thankfully, at one of my summer stages I'd learned to cut butter into dough by using a cheese grater, because they didn't have a food processor either.
Between the cheese grater and breaking up the butter curls by hand, I got the butter mixed in pretty well.
With some cold water and kneading, the dough was shaped into a round, wrapped in plastic and put in the fridge to chill.
Next came the apples. Golden delicious from the farmer's market by work.
Once cut and quartered, I was able to fit five in the 9" pan.
Then I cooked the combination of butter, sugar and cinnamon stick.
Took it off the heat once it started turning brown.
On top I repositioned the apple quarters, now cored (but not peeled, since I didn't have a good peeler at home).
While the apples were cooking I took the dough out and rolled it to the dimensions of the pan. I don't own a rolling pin so I used a bottle of PAM. It works pretty well (although in my previous post you'll see PVC pipe, that works even better).
The apples cooking in the cinnamon caramel is one of the best smells that can fill your kitchen. I turned rotated each slice 180º for even cooking, but you don't have to.
Once the apples were done I covered the pan and put it in the oven. When it finished baking I wrapped it in towels and took it to the dinner party.
There, I had to pop the tarte back into the oven, so the caramel could soften a bit in order for the all-important flipping of the tarte to happen.
I was nervous, but with the plate on the pan, I flipped in one motion and the tarte came out. It would probably have been prettier with the apples peeled, but it tasted pretty good (with vanilla ice cream!).
Not a bad way to make use of some apples (or other fruit) you have lying around. Although I'd still prefer apple pie :)