Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Peach Cake Tatin

I know, I know. I have two recipes on here that are very similar to this recipe (apple tarte tatin and peach ricotta tart), but I saw this on the Barefoot Contessa the other day and decided we HAD to have it. She used plums, which would also be great, but when peaches are in season I try and eat them as much as possible, so we used those instead. I think I might like this version better, in fact. It is also simpler and uses quite a bit less butter than the other Tarte Tatin recipe, so its not quite so hard on the arteries. I think that this could also be used with other fruits to good effect. Pictures will be up soon!

Peach Cake Tatin (adapted from The Barefoot Contessa)


6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish
3 mediu-sized peaches, pitted and quartered
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Confectioners' sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish or cast iron skillet and arrange the peaches in the dish, cut side down.

Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color, about 360 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Swirl the pan but don't stir. Pour evenly over the peaches.

Meanwhile, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in a large bowl with a whick or electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer slowly, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined.

Pour the cake batter evenly over the peaches and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If a peach sticks, ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pies 'n' Thighs

I am finally back in the world of wireless, after a long, long summer of only dial-up internet connection. I am sorry if anyone checked this blog for new posts, only to find the same old recipes. However, I am hoping to update it much more frequently, now that I have moved to NYC for the forseeable future.
A few nights ago, Ari and I ventured to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, home to the largest population of hipsters in the metro area, and thus, where many Wesleyan graduates live as well. (I actually wouldn't mind living there myself). We had both heard about this place called Pies 'n' Thighs, famous for their pies and of course, fried chicken. The menu is simple, with a few main dishes, including pulled pork, catfish, burgers, and of course, the ubiquitous fried chicken. When we arrived, around 8:30 on Wednesday night, it looked like there was going to be a long wait, as the place was packed and there were around 15 people waiting outside. However, a few minutes and a little smooth talking from Ari's friend Osama, we were soon seated in a covered outdoor space at the bar. Personally, I would always prefer to eat outside rather than inside, so this was a great option for me.
Ari and I both ordered the fried chicken box, which came with a biscuit and a side. Osama, who had been there before, ordered the chicken biscuit, which just consisted of a biscuit with barbecue chicken inside. For sides, I got the special summer salad, with corn, pickled green beans, and red peppers. Ari decided on the grits, and we all split some collard greens. The chicken itself was perfection, crispy and perfectly seasoned without being greasy. The biscuits were also excellent, light and buttery and firm. I would have liked some honey to go along with them, but they were great plain nonetheless. My salad was also good, it was nice to have something fresh to go along with the heaviness of the chicken and biscuits. However, the grits were wonderful, and I don't even like grits. They were topped with a little cheese and hot sauce, and they tasted creamy and salty and wonderful.
Even though we were all quite full, we decided we couldn't leave without trying some pie. We decided on the lemon blackberry, which was actually more like a tart. The lemon curd filling was tart and strong, and complemented the sweet blackberries and buttery crust wonderfully. It was an excellent end to a great meal, and I will certainly be returning. On second thought, that potential move to Williamsburg could be dangerous.