Tag Archives: sugar

Apricot Tatin and Caramelized Pecans Brittle … Let’s enjoy the last days of the Summer

31 Aug

Summer time in my family always reminds me of great amount of peaches, nectarines, melon or apricots trays stored in the freshness of the garage or the cellar.
Yes, all Summer long we enjoy tasty tomatoes, fresh salads, basil from the gardens and fruits all the time….
As the numbers tends to vary dramatically from one week to another, we always have to think about new ways to recycle the leftovers.
When it comes to fruits, we usually think about homemade jam, preserves but also poached fruits or tarts.
Ripen apricots are perfect for the Tatin as they will caramelize and soften in the oven.

Ingredients for the Apricot Tatin:

  • a block of good puff pastry or a ready to use one
  • a dozen of apricots halved and stoned
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 50g of unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • aromatic herbs optional (rosemary, basil…)
  • plain flour for dusting
  • unsweetened vanilla whipped cream or ice cream, for serving

Ingredients for Caramelized Pecans Brittle:

  • 1 cup of pecans
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • a Silpat or parchment paper

Method for the Tatin:

Start a caramel in a medium ovenproof frying pan (about 24cm in diameter). Put the sugar in the pan over a medium heat and let it cook until the sugar gets a nice golden brown color. Don’t stir the sugar but swirl it around the pan every now and then so that it caramelize evenly.

Apricots Halved

Stir the butter in carefully as it may splatters in reaction to the extremely hot caramel. At that stage, if you want to give an extra flavor to your Tatin, add the herb of your choice (be careful with rosemary, it quickly overpower the other flavors, only put a small amount). Stir for about 2-3 minutes until a smooth caramel starts to get together. Remove the herbs if you have put some and place the apricots on top, keep on cooking for 2-3 minutes on very low heat just to get the apricots slightly cooked. Then let them cool down for 15-20 minutes.

Apricot Caramelize

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

If your puff pastry is not rolled out, flour a flat and clean surface and start to roll it out until 2mm high and cut a circle out of it, 2-3cm wider than the pan. Place it on top of the apricots and gently push down or fold the sides so that the puff pastry fits in the pan. Using a fork, prick the surface so that it doesn’t rise too much.

Bake the tart in the pan for 25 minutes or until the apricots are well cooked and the surface of the puff pastry gets a nice golden color.

Apricot Oven

Using an oven glove, get the Tatin out of the oven and leave it to rest a few minutes then place a serving dish (larger than the pan) on top of the pan and quickly turn it upside down. When you feel that the Tatin is out of the pan, remove the pan, clean the edges of the serving dish and serve it straight away with vanilla whipped cream or ice-cream.

Apricot Result 2

Apricot Result

 

Method for the Caramelized Pecans:

For the pecans, start another caramel in a clean heavy bottom frying pan. Bring the sugar to a nice golden brown caramel and spread the pecans on top of it. Using a silicon or wooden spatula, quickly help the pecans to get coated off the heat. Gently pour the content of the pan on the Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. Let it cool down and once it is cold, roughly chop it in order to get small pieces of caramelized pecans.

Spread them on top of the whipped cream, ice-cream or tart.

Apricot Pecan Caramelized

Apricot Served

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Braised Endives: an heartwarming Winter recipe from my Mum

10 Mar

Endives is one of those vegetables that taste really different depending on the way you prepare them.

It is fresh and crispy when it is used raw in a salad, with dried fruits, nuts and diced apple tossed in tasty traditional dressing,

It is soft and even sour when it is cooked with ham and cheese or with blue cheese as a side (not the best childhood memory indeed),

And last but not least as it is the recipe of the day…. it is sweet and melting in your mouth when it is braised with butter and sugar… it becomes a perfect side for a stew or a Sunday roast if you are bored with potatoes, carrots and leeks.

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 generous endives, washed and stems removed
  • salt and pepper
  • 40-50g of butter*
  • 1-2 tbsp of sugar (caster or Demerara)

1-Ingredients

Method:

Place the endives in a large pan of salted water, cover and bring to a boil for 15-20 minutes until they are thoroughly cooked. The endives are cooked once they are soft and that a knife gets through it without resistance.

2-Endives 3-Cuisson

Carefully drain the endives in a colander. Be careful they are very fragile and tends to collapse once they are cooked. If you have cooked lots of endives, use 2 spoons to place them one by one in the colander and get rid of the excess of water.

4-Egoutter

To braise the endives, use a frying pan large enough to contain all of them on one layer otherwise, they will never caramelize.

Heat the pan and melt half of the butter. Carefully place the endives next to each other and add the other half of butter. Add the remaining endives and sprinkle with sugar. Let it cook on medium heat to prevent them from burning.

5-Cuire

As the bottom of the endives gets a nice brown color, turn them upside down and caramelize the other side.

If you are using a very large pan, the caramelization may be uneven. In that case, switch the caramelized endives with the ones on the spot that does not caramelize as fast as the spot they were placed.

6-Carameliser

Once the endives are evenly caramelized, place them one by one in a serving dish and serve them straight away with meat, fish or just the way they are, with a nice green salad for example.

7-Result

* You may think it is a lot of better but as mentioned in the title, this is my Mum’s recipe and a wanted to give it to you the way she does it, with all her generosity and taste for traditional recipes. Personally, I will have a tendency to decrease drastically that amount and start only with half of it. It’s up to you indeed….!

Ingrédients:

  • 10-12 belles endives, rincées et équeutées
  • sel et poivre
  • 40-50g de beurre*
  • 1-2 cas de sucre (blanc ou cassonade)

Méthode:

Placez les endives entières dans une grande casserole d’eau salée et portez-les à ébullition à couvert 15-20 minutes jusu’à ce qu’elles soient bien cuites. Les endives sont cuites lorsque le couteau les traverse sans résistance.

Egouttez les endives avec précaution pour qu’elles ne se délitent pas, si vous en avez préparez une grande quantité, utilisez deux fourchettes pour les placer une à une dans l’égouttoir.

Faites chauffer une poêle suffisamment grande pour contenir la totalité des endives sans qu’elles se chevauchent. Faites fondre la moitié du beurre et placez une à une les endives côte à côte jusqu’à ce qu’elles occupent toute la surface de la poêle.

Saupoudrez de sucre et laissez caraméliser à feu moyen. Lorsque les endives commencent à prendre une jolie couleur brune, retournez-les délicatement pour caraméiser l’autre face. Si les endives caramélisent plus au centre, intervertissez les endives placées à l’extérieur avec celles placées au centre pour que l’ensemble des endives aient une caramélisation uniforme.

Servez-les immédiatement en accompagnement d’une viande ou d’un poisson ou tel quel, accompagnées d’une belle salade verte.

*La quantité de beurre suggérée peut vous paraître exagérée mais j’ai tenu à garder les proportions utilisées par ma mère dont la cuisine se veut familiale et généreuse…. il ne tient qu’à vous de réduire de moitié cette quantité et d’ajuster si nécessaire!