Posts Tagged ‘french’



Picked these Empire apples myself in Hood River.


Melted earth balance, evenly distributed.IMG_8804First layer-pack it tight.


 Second layer- just pile it on.

This is from the original French Tarte Tatin recipe,  only with vegan butter.  Don’t be daunted.  This is just an apple pie without seasonings or a top crust, and the only scary part is flipping it over.  But take my word for it, it is not that scary. You peel and cut some apples,  melt the soy butter, dissolve the sugar, pack the apple slices in, add another layer of apples, then cover the skillet with your dough, bake it in the oven and flip.  Easy.  It’s so delicious and simple. You might think that just apples, butter and sugar would be bland, but its rich and delicious.

IMPORTANT: You need a small cast iron pan for this. It’s possible that another type of oven proof skillet would work, but I’ve never tried that myself.

Makes 6 servings


  • 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet or ovenproof pan
  • baking sheet
  • 1 sheet (about 8 ounces) frozen puff pastry OR 2 rolled up pie crusts
  • 8 Tbs earth balance
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (brown sugar is fine to use if you don’t have white, or a combo of white and brown.)
  • About 8 sweet firm apples peeled, cored and quartered
  • If you like, you can add a few squeezes of lemon juice at the end before putting the dough on top.


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees – have your skillet and baking sheet ready

2. Thaw your dough, then roll it out and refrigerate it.

3. Put the skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When it melts, sprinkle the sugar over the butter until it dissolves. Remove from heat.

4. Fit a layer of apples into the skillet, putting the apples into the pan in tight circles. What’s important here is to pack in the apples — because they will shrink as they cook, you want to make sure they are snug in the pan.

5. When you’ve got a tight single layer, cut the remaining apple quarters in half and strew them over the first layer. This layer can be somewhat mounded, which will give the tart some height.

6. Put the pan over medium heat and cook — staying close by — until the sugar turns a deep caramel color. You’ll see it bubbling up the sides of the pan, but if you need a clearer view, you can gently push an apple aside. To get the color you want without burning the sugar, you may have to lower the heat after a while. Count on 15 minutes, more or less, to get the color. Transfer the skillet to the baking sheet.

7. Remove pie crusts or pastry from the fridge and place it over the top of the pan, covering the fruit, loosely tucking in any overhang.

If using two pie crusts, just put one on top of the other.

8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is baked through and, if you used puff pastry, puffed.

9.  Now it’s time to flip it over! Cover the skillet with the large, rimmed serving plate (or pie plate) and, acting quickly and confidently in one smooth flip motion, flip the tart out onto the platter and remove the pan. If any of the apples have stuck to the pan — it happens to the best of us — gently lift them off the pan with an icing spatula and press them gently back onto the tart.

10.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

The caramelized sugar is hot enough to be dangerous. Let the tart sit for at least 10 minutes before serving, preferably on a windowsill with a chilly breeze wafting in.



Read Full Post »

…with a side of olive-oil roasted potatoes, a wicked cheap side dish.

$5.50, serves 2-3

I don’t have anything against lima beans.  I see them as a smart choice because they provide protein and are quite filling.  I did think it was “normal” to hate lima beans for a large part of my life because my father forbade them from coming into the house.

We have had this as a meal several times this summer.  Just fill up most of your plate with the warm, buttery succotash,  plop down a handful of roasted potatoes and that’s it.  One large russet potato feeds 2 people for less than a dollar.  The last thing I need to worry about right now is starch.

Why French, you ask?  Because I used my bottle of Herbes de Provence to season it!  If you don’t have that, just use some ground thyme.


  • 1 small spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp earth balance
  • 1 tsp fresh pepper
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp herbes de provence (HDP) or ground thyme
  • 1 lb frozen lima beans, thawed
  • 2-3 large ears of fresh corn, kernels sliced off
  • 1 large tomato, de-seeded and diced
  • handful of chopped parsley


  1. Cook earth balance, onion and garlic in a large pot on medium heat until the onions are softened.
  2. Add the lima beans, corn, part of the salt,  pepper, and a half teaspoon of HDP (or thyme).
  3. Sautee the vegetables until tender and warm, then add lemon juice.
  4. Once the lima beans and corn are tender, add the tomato and parsley.
  5. Season with rest of the salt, pepper, and more HDP or thyme to taste, if needed.

Read Full Post »

Sweet Crepes

Do you feel Parisian this morning?

I like mine filled, nor topped AND filled.

Crepes, waffles, pancakes.  They are all equally easy.  The only difference with crepes is that you have to let the batter sit.  A good method is to have it sit overnight, but its not necessary.  Stuff or slather with your favorite things: chocolate-hazelnut spread, (there are vegan versions,) jam, fresh fruit, earth balance, soy yogurt, etc.


  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 cup soymilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in bowl. Sprinkle corn starch evenly over top, then incorporate carefully into batter.

2.  Whisk in milk 1/4 cup at a time, then whisk in vanilla. Cover, and chill at least 30 minutes, or at most- overnight. ( I like this method because it makes the morning easier!)

3. Whisk 1/4 to 1/2 cup water into batter to thin. Lightly grease nonstick skillet with oil. Heat skillet over medium-high heat.

4. Pour 1/4 cup batter into hot, non-stick skillet, tilting pan to swirl batter so it coats bottom of pan. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until edges begin to brown and center is dry. Flip; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute more.

5. Transfer crêpe to plate, and continue until batter is gone.

To serve: Reheat in skillet, spread with  fillings, fold into quarters, and serve. (Or top the triangles, like Nick does.)

Read Full Post »