OCTOBER 27 2012


I had to look this up, but a tatin is "a caramelized tart that is baked with pastry on top and then inverted for serving". Sounds complicated! And it kind of is although turned out to be way, way easier to deal with than I expected.

First important thing to point out is that some of the potato in this tatin came from our garden! Sometime this spring, I pushed a couple sprouting red potatoes into the ground and they magically transformed into seven potatoes, some of them huge!

garden potatoes!

I get to work on the tatin which I want to take to a potluck tonight. But it's Saturday, so I'm trying to also keep up on what's happening with PAC-12 football. Luckily I can just see the TV from the stove so am able to do both at once (although maybe both a little more poorly than each on it's own... but who's to say). I barely have enough time to make this before the party, so I get the potatoes boiling and the onions browning and check on the USC game.

view of the stove

view of the game

Strangely, the skin crackles and falls off our homegrown red potato but there are no such problems with the store bought yukon golds. Maybe it's the extreme freshness of our potatoes... oh well, shouldn't really be a problem.

I skip the tomato drying step... I just don't have enough time and, besides, I made these myself a few weeks ago so it's not like I'm cheating or anything.

Now for the caramel, which I am a bit concerned about. I've always done caramel with water and sugar, never butter and sugar and it doesn't seem to be coming together that well. The butter won't really incorporate, no matter how much I stir (and splash all over my shirt, dammit) but I'll just keep forging ahead. Once spread over the parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, it hardens quickly into a crisp shell. Hope this is correct... would hate for anyone to crack their teeth on my tatin!

butter and sugar : before

butter + sugar + heat + lots of stirring = caramel (I hope)

top it with some fresh oregano
Okay, the potatoes are cooked and sliced, caramel has been spread in the pan and the onions are browned and smelling great. Time to cut out the pastry shell then assemble this tatin.

cutting puff pastry an inch larger than the pan

just needs the puff pastry hat
Cover the rock-hard caramel with a layer of aged goat cheese then fit in as many potato slices as possible. Now stuff all the gaps with onion and tomatoes before capping the whole thing with the puff pastry. Into the oven... please work!! I don't have time to make anything else!

tatin before and after

Smells so amazing and the pastry is nice and browned. Lets pray I can flip this baby out without it crashing onto the floor or breaking into a million pieces. One... two... three!

It is absolutely stunning! The onions and tomatoes have blackened and caramelized into an ooey, gooey crust around the edges and the potatoes have absorbed most of the caramel while the rest cools into a thin, golden shellack of sugar. Tastes so rich and umami-y. Alas, being at a potluck, I only get one small wedge before the whole thing is devoured. At least it appears everyone liked it as much as I did.


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