Broken but not bowed….pineapple tatin is not for the faint hearted

Yesterday I had a feeling that I would be punching above my weight in attempting to make a pineapple tarte tatin under the cloud of a hangover. My trepidation was not misplaced. I had seen a set of recipes with fruit by Sue Fairlie- Cuninghame, in the new issue of “Jamie” magazine, and had been drawn to the pineapple tarte tatin. The recipe is clear and precise, but I deviated from it, safe in the wisdom that only a throbbing hangover can provide. I replaced ready made puff pastry for a good buttery pâte brisée, and decided to make the dish in a purpose made tatin saucepan rather than the recommended hardware. It all seemed so right until the first attempt at caramel went badly wrong. I had a moment of realising the problem of making caramel in a black, non stick pan. The problem is that you can’t see the colour, then you panic and then you are shovelling boiling sugar and butter into a plastic rubbish bag that is melting and releasing the molten lava onto the floor where Pompeii is being recreated in a crystalline mixture of sugar and butter. On the second attempt my nerve held and a glossy caramel was created, into which I tossed the pineapple slices. About 6 or 7 minutes later the pastry was put into place and tucked into the edges as tradition demands. The cooking went well but frayed nerves led to an early withdrawal. Even though the pastry looked perfectly cooked, on inverting the pan over a plate I heard the noises that indicated that the tatin had disintegrated during its 5cm fall from pan to plate. I was prepared for disappointment and I was duly disappointed but, luckily, only aesthetically. It looked a mess but tasted like heaven. 

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in Cooking, desserts, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, France, Jamie Oliver, Photography, Photography holiday, Sue Fairlie-Cuninghame, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Broken but not bowed….pineapple tatin is not for the faint hearted

  1. hopeeternal says:

    Sometimes looks aren’t everything! I had something very similar to this – except with a pineapple ring and coconutty crumble topping (but labelled Tatin in the menu) – in a restaurant on Lake Annecy last year. It was delicious. I had wondered about having a go at one at home but was not sure quite where to start.
    ‘Meanderings through my Cookbook’

  2. That is a very pretty mess. I’d eat it in a heartbeat!

  3. I am in awe of your photographs and even more of your living in France! Thanks for commenting on my blog. But, now I’m all nervous about my pictures because of your trained professional eye! I’ve added your blog to my Google Reader and eagerly await your future posts!

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