Monday, September 1, 2014

Late Summer's Words and an Apple Tarte Tatin

I met Eleanor Keiper, author of "Journeys Into Poetry", last week at the Northwoods Book and Art Festival in Hackensack.  Her book of poems captivated me and I could not resist purchasing a copy.  She writes, "I consider myself a 'Fireside Writer' just now taking the time to indulge myself with the music of the written word." 
She goes on to say, "I see poetry everywhere I look. If I can inspire children to imagine pictures from my written words my epitaph will be... She has succeeded the torch has been passed. "
Well I am inspired by Eleanor's words.  I learned from reading her book she has been on an epic journey of Parkinson's Disease for over 21 years. Her 'can do" attitude has not derailed her in the least. As Eleanor learned to live life in the slower lane it has opened up new avenues pursuing children's writing and poetry. 
One of her chapters is titled "Reflections of Minnesota".  Even though the calendar has turned a page I thought this a fitting poem for the day. 
August in Minnesota
by Eleanor Keiper

August at Summer's back door,
Bittersweet, warm, gusty winds galore.

The dog days of Summer,
As August is called-
Like the cadence of the drummer,
Says Summer is stalled.

The Labor Day picnics,
The fishfries and such,
Mark the end of "real" Summer,
Pretty much.

The harvest is ripened,
The fields feel the reaper.
Summer's anxious to leave us,
There's no way to keep her.

Now the Labor Day dances
On still August nights,
Hold a hint of a chill
Under crisp, starry lights.
To learn more about Eleanor's poetry, prose, reflections and poetry books follow this link 
Tarte Tatin, is the famous French upside-down apple tart, baked with a pastry crust placed on top of a luscious caramelized-apple filling, then inverted after baking. It is especially delicious served with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream.
Tarte Tatin can also be made with pears, peaches, pineapple, tomatoes, other fruit, or vegetables, such as onion. In terms of dough the Tarte Tatin can be made with either puff pastry or shortcrust pastry.
A cast-iron skillet works best when making this tart because it helps the fruit to caramelize, but any heavy-duty nonstick pan with an ovenproof handle will do.
Apple Tarte Tatin
Cook's notes: This recipe comes from Pepperidge Farms. I used puff pastry for the crust. It was easy to put together and only had 6 ingredients!

  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 heaping tablespoon flour
  • 4 Granny Smith apples peeled and cut into wedges 
  • 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
  • Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir the brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and flour in a large bowl. Add the apples and toss to coat. 
  • Roll out pastry sheet on a floured piece of wax paper. Use a bowl to measure a circle the size of the skillet.   

  • Arrange the apples, cut-side up, around the inside edge of a 10-inch oven-safe nonstick skillet, filling in towards the center. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the brown sugar mixture is thickened. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Place the pastry over the apples, tucking in the edge around the inside of the skillet.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let the Tarte Tatin cool in the skillet on a wire rack for 5 minutes. 

  • Carefully invert the Tarte Tatin onto a serving plate.

Bon Appetit!

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