Today I’m delighted to be bringing you a guest post by Umm Haneefah also known as The Halal Gourmet who specialises in French cuisine within the limits of Allah i.e. no pork, wine etc.Cooking up classy dishes like confit de canard salad and encouraging a sophisticated palate in the fussiest of eaters – children, with her squid cucumber lime muffins you will find something for everyone and then some.
What started out as delicious dalliance in the thick of apple season, with loads of butter and sugar, became an emotional rollercoaster that turned into a trial from Allaah, Azza wa Jal (The Mighty & Majestic).
Tarte Tatin: the Upside-Down Apple Cake that nearly turned my life upside down
When my dear sister, Umm Hamza, invited me to post on her blog, she hinted that she liked pastries.
Eeeek. My sweet tooth is well-established but, my “sweet thumb” is not nearly as honed.
While she did not obligate a pastry from me, I felt obliged nonetheless and I couldn’t have been more thrilled!
Tarte Tatin is a renowned French apple upside-down cake that is to the French what Apple Pie is to Americans. This is the version found in The Complete Bocuse; a compilation of 500 recipes from the Master Chef Paul Bocuse who was named the chef of the century in 2011. He is often called the “father of modern French cuisine.”
Not too shabby.
Mise En Place
I am really a stickler for Mise En Place because I have enough stress in my life. If you are a real keener, you will have everything measured out as well.
As you can see it is nothing complicated even for non-bakers like myself. So how did a simple pastry become such ordeal?
Of Pastries & Patience
Well, things were going along swimmingly, peeling and coring away, all the while being terribly impressed with myself that my butter was all softened and ready to go.
The recipe asked for a tarte tatin pan or a large cake pan. Since I do not have a “tarte tatin” pan exactly, I figured my spring form pans would do. I happily buttered the bottoms away and started to tightly pack in my peeled and sliced apple pieces.
[Patience] In the sharee’ah, it is:
‘To restrain the tongue from complaining and whining, the soul from annoyance, and the limbs from slapping the cheeks, tearing off the pockets and the other foul acts that demonstrate a lack of patience’ – Shaykh ‘Ubayd al-Jaabiree (hafidhullaah ta’ala) in Explanation of The Three Fundamental Principles
Alhamdulillah, I didn’t totally freak out. Just a few feminine tears and a clearly needed time out. I hope that I passed the test, inshaa’ allaah.
Tarte Tatin: Take Two
What could I do? Qadrullahi ma saha fa’alu. It is the Will of Allaah and He does what He Wills, after all. The zowj was encouraging me saying that all was not lost since there were apples that did not hit the floor.
I started packing up my butter and salt and said “Alhamdulillah” that I didn’t start the pastry. But I couldn’t just leave it. I couldn’t let a little sweet cake do me like that.
- 500-750 grams apples (about 3 medium size) peeled, deseeded cored and thickly sliced or quartered
- 100 grams unsalted butter, divided for greasing and melting
- 70 grams sugar divided
- 125 grams flour
- 1 egg
- 80 grams butter softened
- Preheat oven to 350F/175C/Gas Mark 4 (looked that up specially for my Britons)
- Butter the bottom of your cake pan with 50 g of the butter and sprinkle with ¼ C (50g) of sugar
- Arrange apple slices and tightly pack them so they cover the entire bottom of the pan
- Melt the remaining butter and pour over with the remaining sugar
- Bake for 20 minutes or until apples are caramelised. Be careful not to burn the sugar!
- Pastry Prep
- Pour the flour onto a pastry board and shape into a circle and make a well in the middle
- Add the egg, softened butter and a pinch of salt to the flour well and incorporate the ingredients (You may have to add a slight dash of water if it doesn't come together.)
- Work the dough into a ball and make sure that it is soft
- Roll out the dough on floured work surface as thinly as possible
- Transfer the dough to the cake pan placing it over the apples and tuck the edges in side
- Bake for another 20 minutes
- Turn the cake upside down onto a cake pan. Allow to cool some before serving warm.
- Umm Haneefah is the author of TheHalalGourmet.Com A blog dedicated to fine, French cuisine within the limits of Allah.