Apple Tarte Tatin

With the excess of organically grown apples from the garden, they don't keep that long so what better way to use them than in making dessert? French apples for french dessert, C'est parfait!

These are the organically grown apples from the garden used for this tarte tatin. 

P's parents gave us so many fruits and vegetables from the garden that if anyone took a peek into our car, they would have thought we were fruit sellers. We had quetsch, pears, apples, cabbage, beetroots and more! Who cares if we looked like fruits and vegetable vendors. I was well happy to have so many ingredients to cook with. What was most satisfying was the fact that I helped pick them out from the garden.

Giant sunflowers the size of a dinosaur

This is quetsch, a variety of plum if you have never seen these, like me.

When i told P I was about to attempt tarte tatin for the second time in my life, he looked impress that I was even trying to make one. Then he made sure to google some pictures and said mine should look like this and not like that. Great! He was setting expectations already!

So I carefully prepared everything to make sure it will come out perfect so the Tarte Tatin made by a Malaysian me would impress the French.



Conclusion, my French man and friends loved it! SUCCESS with a big fat smile.


Apple Tarte Tatin

adapted from Mustard with Mutton
Serves 6

Ingredients:


  • 5 - 6 apples
  • 3/4 cup golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbs apple press (or water)
  • 60g butter
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 store bought ready rolled puff pastry

Methods:


1.  Split the vanilla pod into two, lengthwise. Scrape the vanilla seeds out with the tip of a knife and place them in an 8 inch heavy based stainless steel pan (or any other oven proof pan). Place the split vanilla pod criss crossed on the pan.
2.  Combine sugar and apple press, and bring to boil then lower the heat to medium and cook until sugar melts, thicken and turn into deep amber colour.
3.  Make sure to just swirl the pan and not stir. Otherwise the sugar will crystallise.
4.  Remove from heat and add butter.
5.  Peel, deseed and quarter the apples. Arrange the apples neatly around the edges and the centre of the pan on top of the caramelised sugar.
6.  As the pan will be inverted when the tart is ready, make sure the apples are arranged in a presentable manner.
7.  Return pan to the stove and cook on low heat for an hour. Make sure the heat is low enough to not burn the sugar and apples.
8.  Remove the pan from heat and let cool to room temperature.
9.  Preheat the oven to 180C.
10. Place the ready rolled pastry on top of the apples and trim the sides.
11. Tuck the edges in neatly into a rim and seal it against the pan. Then prick some holes with a knife or fork to let steam out while in the oven.
12. Bake the tart for about 30-35 minutes in the oven until pastry is golden brown.
13. Once ready, remove from oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
14. Loosen the edges of the tarte with knife. Place a serving dish over the pan and invert the pan quickly.
15. Cut into slices and serve with vanilla ice cream.


Roux at the Landau | London

The beautiful and glorious interior of The Landau at The Langham Hotel. (Image via Langham Hotel)

Roux at the Landau sees Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jr, the renowned father and son in the culinary world work together for the first time in 19 years. Knowing the magnificent Roux family, they pride themselves of perfection in every aspect. The kitchen and front of house are both equally important. It is of no surprise they chose the best to represent them. Chris King has been chosen to be the restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine. He is a Roux protégé who has worked for over 5 years at their 2 Michelin starred Le Gavroche. Even Franco Becci, the Restaurant Manager has been carefully picked to ascertain an excellent dining experience.

The impressive entrance to Roux at the Landau

As I entered through the door, I was greeted with an insane collection of wine through the glass cabinets.


Amuse bouche with nori crisp



Risotto

Braised featherblade beef



The glasses were printed with a horses which I find cute. The restaurant has horse themed decoration to remember historical memories of it accomodating stagecoach horses. 

Artisan cheeses

Lemon meringue parfait with early English blackberries was my favourite of the night. It is similar to Baked Alaska, one of my favourite dessert.

 Petit fours were tasty except the less impressive brownies.

With The Rouxs seeking for perfection, it is of no surprise that while we were there, service was immaculate and attentive yet not intrusive. We ordered their promotional 3 courses menu for £35, which was of a good deal. The dishes were well executed with elegant taste. Though the food was made well and ingredients carefully picked. I must say, some were great and some did not live up to a Roux standard we were expecting. But with this promotional price, it is actually of very good value. 


Smile..

A very good value quality food, ambience and excellent service. 

Frown..

Some of the tastes did not live up to the Roux standard but it is just a very high expectation that we have set since it carries the Roux name. On a general point of view, food was well executed. 
Note: Don't get me wrong here, the food and experience was great. It is just that I have crazy expectations from one of my favourite chef, Michel Roux Jr.


Will I return?

Yes of course. Perhaps a la carte next time. It is possibly more impressive.


Roux at the Landau

1C Portland Place
W1B 1JA London,UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 76965 0165

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Pied a Terre | London

Pied a Terre has been on my to lunch list for the longest time. Finally, we managed to finally go there for what is known as one of the best value lunch in London. Since we had to take a day off work to run some errands, we thought we might as well use it to the fullest. 

We were greeted with big smiles and warm welcome as we entered. They even asked which area we would like to sit since there were 2 different rooms. We of course sat at the more cosy part, the one without a group of suits at their business lunch meeting. 

The meal started off with some canapes of crispy croquettes and a spoonful of tuna tartare. The tuna was so fresh and melted in the mouth. 




Then came the starter of pickled cornish mackerel with golden cauliflower, heritage carrots, watercress and smoked eel which I really liked. This was the preferred starter to the below sweetbread P had. It was not because I am much more of a fish person but I enjoyed the many different flavours and cooking method of the fish, all well executed.


Salad of veal sweetbreads with mushroom vinaigrette, green beans, baby artichokes and summer truffle was nice and earthy.

Pan fried fillet of cod with lightly poached prawns, rock samphire, sea purslane and tarragon nage was very well cooked and moist. It was an elegant dish.

The lamb was pink and tender, served with shaved fennel, confit garlic, pineapple tomato, and dill puree. The potato pillows were there to give it some visual and crunch effect. A pretty dish in general but lacking in potential flavours from a lamb dish.



Olive oil and lime parfait with crunchy meringue, whipped creme fraiche and macerated cherries was a perfect summer dessert. It was light and refreshing yet not too sweet.

Petit fours

Enjoying the last bits of the meal


Though simple, this was the best doughnuts I have ever had. It was soft and fluffy, light as ever coated with ground cinnamon and sugar. 



Smile..

For what it is, it is of really good value and worth visiting for lunch. The service was friendly and attentive. Food was good though I was expecting more 'blow my mind' flavours since it used to be a 2 michelin star restaurant, now 1. 

Frown..

They only serve lunch menu on weekdays. Would have been good to be able to order lunch menu on a Saturday as well.


Will I return?

Yes of course. Perhaps a la carte or tasting menu the next time. 


Pied a Terre

34 Charlotte Street
W1T 2NH London,UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7636 1178

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