This recipe is from one of my favourite honourary Frenchwoman and food writer, Susan Herrman Loomis and her book On Rue Tatin. I was lucky enough to visit the On Rue Tatin Cooking school on a trip to France, so when she writes that this recipe came to her courtesy of a lady who lives across the lane in Louviers…I know this recipe is as authentic as they come. If you are even remotely interested the idea of french cooking and living in small village in Normandy – then get your hands on a copy of On Rue Tatin.
A delicious dessert that reminds me how the French enjoy a little of everything with an easy notion of restraint. This is a fabulous dessert, but devastatingly rich. Go easy, enjoy a little and love it a lot!
- 1 – 1.5kg of tart apples (I used Granny Smith’s)
- 100g of butter
- 1 cup of sugar (divided in two)
- 45mls Calvados (French apple brandy from Normandy)
- 3 eggs and two egg yolks
- 300mls heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
How to do it:
1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius, and grease a 6 cup capacity soufflé dish.
2. Peel and core the apples and cut into thick, chunky slices. You don’t want them too think or they will go mushy. Then melt the butter over a medium-high heat.
3. When bubbling and foaming add the apples and sauté them until they are golden. This should take about 10 minutes.
4. Add half a cup of the sugar and cook, shaking the pan to prevent the sugar catching until the liquid caramelises. Then add the Calvados. Susan’s recipe calls for ‘flaming the Calvados’ with a match to burn off the alcohol and shaking the pan gently as the flames die down. I tried this, but it would not catch – so not sure. Give it a go if you like (it makes great theatre if you have guests, but make sure you stand well back away from the flame – it is dangerous!)
5. Give the apples a stir and then transfer them into the buttered soufflé dish and set aside.
6. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into a clean bowl and whisk in the eggs and the yolks. Add the remaining sugar and the cream and whisk until combined.
7. Pour this mixture over the apples in the soufflé dish and bake for 30-35 minutes until puffed and golden.
8. Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 20 minutes before serving – it will be molten hot. It will deflate just a little, but will still look and taste amazing!