When I’m looking at recipes and thinking about what to make, my favourites are always the ones that I have all the ingredients for on hand, or can easily substitute with something else. I’ve been eying the applesauce with a meringue cap for ages on Orangette for ages, since I started digging back into the blog archives after I read Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life, but I didn’t make it until this rainy afternoon. I had it for dessert, after my lunch.
Now that I’ve made this and tasted it, I don’t know why I didn’t just make it earlier. It’s so easy and quick to put together: the longest you’ll be waiting is while it’s in the oven, though the wait is worth it. I’m especially happy about the meringue and that it worked out in terms of sweetness, as my past endeavours with meringue weren’t sweet – mainly out of my thoughts that too much sugar or honey was being used in a recipe for a small amount of egg whites. This led to a kind of love-hate relationship with making meringue: I loved the idea of meringue, but didn’t like making it because of too many incidents of eggy, not sweet enough, and, according to my sister, once salty. This all changed for the better when I successfully made meringue cookies back in May of this year, inspired by some meringue cookies that were “just right” that I ate at a friend’s place. That is why I haven’t really featured any meringue recipes before, but this one will be the second one now, after the Peach Melba Spoom.
Meringue and I are reconciled.
“Hey, are you going to make that thing again?” my Mum asked me yesterday.
“That apple thing you did…the pancake.”
Call it Tarte Tatin Noveau. I try to remember where I got the idea to put this Tarte Tatin and pancakes together. but I’m not sure anymore. I was doing a Google search for tarte tatin pancakes, but none of the results was what I was looking for. So here it is. Paying true homage to that old phrase, “eat dessert first”, this is readily versatile: for, depending on how it’s dressed up, it can be eaten as breakfast or dessert. It’s delicious eaten on its own, but if you’re feeling indulgent, I imagine that a slice of this tarte tatin pancake, served while still warm, with a scoop of coconut milk vanilla ice cream and maybe with some hot fudge sauce or caramel would be the ticket.
While this recipe uses apples, you can use other fruit as well. After you’ve finished poaching the fruit, save any of the leftover poaching liquid: as it cools it thickens and can be used like a jam or jelly. (The pectin from the apples thicken it.)
Poached fruit is great as a breakfast food, a snack, and it’s delicious when eaten with vanilla ice cream! Other ice creams may be tried, however the vanilla ice cream compliments the poached fruit’s flavour and is also a good contrast between the different foods’ temperatures if the fruit is still warm from poaching or is reheated.
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground cloves or allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3-5 tbsp. water
- Peel the apples and cut in half, removing the core and leafy part. Melt the honey in a saucepan over medium heat, add the vanilla and spices. Cook for a few minutes and add the water, stirring. Continue to cook for a few minutes more, or until you can smell the fragrance of the spices.
- Add apple halves and lower to a simmer. Cook the apples until a pointed knife can penetrate the apples easily without resistance – the apples should be soft but firm, not mushy. Remove from heat and serve. Enjoy!
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