On the Eve of the Eve: My Annual Foray into Baking

I bake blueberry pies in summer, and pecan pies at Thanksgiving. That’s it, except: for Christmas Eve (which is also my BMD’s birthday) a Tarte Tatin.

Have you eaten this queen of French desserts? It’s been our favorite ever since we spent a few days at Manoir de La Mollien. We sat at a table for two inside the giant alcove of the ancient fireplace, and every night for dessert a perfect tarte was delivered for just the two of us. ( but I’m making a big one, enuf for 12 people…) What is IN it!? Honey? Cinnamon? Non. Apples, sugar, butter—c’est ça!

You peel the apples and arrange them artistically in a skillet, mounding them up. Cook ‘em in caramelized sugar, basting frequently; you don’t stir’em, cuz you wanna preserve the pattern you created. So you siphon up the juice as they release it, and squirt i5 back over the apples till they’re soft. Then you cover the pan with a pie crust, tucking in the edges like a cozy blanket. Bake ‘er!
And THEN……this is the suspenseful, dangerous part: you flip it ! Boiling hot syrup and all: Oooop-La ! onto a serving tray.
And there before you is a vision of perfectly arranged fragrant caramelized fruit, crying out for crème fraiche, whipped crème or vanilla ice cream!
Mes amis, wish me luck; I cannot wait to see it again!


P.S.: In case you’re wondering, the tarte was delicious, 11 people served and not a scrap left!
God bless and keep you all, Merry Christmas and thank you for your cyber companionship this year.


Congratulations on the success of your Tarte! And you made all those people happy with the beautiful and delectiable thing. Good job.

Merry Christmas! and may all go well for you, and for all Scanalysts, in the coming year.


My wife makes a wonderful apple crisp. My contribution is generally the peeling of the apples, a thankless but necessary job. But the end result is one of my favorites.

I have yet to master my grandmother’s coffee crème cake. I’ve tried, but it fell short. I think perhaps I didn’t use Turkish coffee. Next time I decide to be “adventurous”

Merry Christmas to all…