|Burt’s Farm – Dawsonville (just past Amicolola Falls)|
You know it’s Fall when you feel even the slightest dip in the morning temperatures. The air has that crispness you just don’t get any other time of the year. The sourwood trees begin to redden, the forests begin their pre-leaf settling in preparation for the onslaught of the new covering, and you see the never-ending caravan of cars from the low-lands hitting the mountains. Yes, it’s a bit early for leaf lookers, but that’s not why they are here. It’s the pumpkins and apples. The seemingly never-ending supply of pumpkins from Burt’s Farm beckons them in and hooks them. And, it’s the apple barns that suck them deeper still into the rolling hills. They spend the weekend, loading up their carriages with that perfect globe to carve… and apples…. ohhh, the apples.
I have to admit, I can’t resist apple season, either. For the families that work so very hard every year preparing the orchards, tending and caring for their trees to bring one of nature’s most perfect bounties – they are positively beaming with pride. There’s an air of excitement and festivity around each of the apple orchards, as the crowds flock in. And whether you pick your own – or select from the 30 or so varieties of local fruit, or you just come up for the cider and goat petting – there’s something for everyone when it’s apple season.
I recently snagged a bag of Gala Apples from one of the growers here because the voice in the back of my head said PIE… and of course, I had to oblige.
While I’ve done just about every kind of apple pie on here, I haven’t done a Tarte Tatin. So today it’s Tarte Tatin Day – for no other reason than just being damned fun to say. For those of you that don’t know it – a tarte tatin is basically an upside down pie. It’s baked right side up – then inverted before serving…. it’s kind of like that illogical thrill you get eating fruit on the bottom yogurt.
Since one of my favorite snacks as a kid was apple slices with peanut butter, I’ve done the classic tarte tatin one better and added peanut butter to the caramel – it’s seriously delish!
Oh! I almost forgot…
Apple and Peanut Butter
Serves 2 (okay, it really serves 4 – but it served 2)
First, the Crust:
3/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Corn Starch
1/2 Cup Potato Starch
3/4 Cup Cold Butter Substitute – Cut into Cubes
1 Egg – Lightly Beaten
In a food processor combine flour and starches.
Add butter and mix a few seconds at a time until the butter is the size of peas.
Add egg, water and mix again until the dough just begins to form.
Add water as needed just until it forms a smooth dough.
Remove the dough from the food processor and form two disks.
Wrap in plastic film and chill for 30 minutes.
Now, the Tarte Tatin:
4 Gala Apples – Peeled and Cored
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Butter Substitute
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
Medium Sauce Pan
2 Large Deep Sided Ramekins – pint or larger
Heat the water and sugar in the sauce pan WITHOUT STIRRING until the sugar melts and reduces
When it’s reduced by 1/2, remove from the heat and stir in the coconut milk and butter until everything is incorporated – set aside
Cut the apples into quarters
Place the cut apples into the ramekins – cutting any extra pieces to fit in all the gaps
Pour 1/2 of the caramel into each ramekin over the apples
Roll out the dough about 1/4″ thick and 1″ larger than the ramekin
Place the dough over the apples and “tuck” the extra bit down the sides, around the apples slightly
Cut 3 steam vents in the top of the crust
Bake at 375 for 35 minutes
Remove from the oven and cool a full 15 minutes before unmolding
Run a thin knife around the edge of the ramekin and place a plate over the top
Carefully invert the ramekin / plate and give it a little shake to loosen the tartin
Serve immediately with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (soy, or coconut based, of course)