Where do I begin? Change is in the air and I couldn’t be happier. The first thing I’d like to share is that Adam and I are engaged. Well, we’ve always been engaged, sort of. What I mean is that it’s always been understood. I knew Adam was the one the moment we met, and I dare say he felt the same about me. There was no popping of the question, no down on one knee (ha!). I honestly cannot imagine Adam doing that and I think we would find ourselves holding our bellies with laughter if he did. But now, we have a ring. A ring from the early 50’s that belonged to Adam’s beloved Granny whom, I sadly, never met. I’m not a diamond girl, but the diamond in this ring is tiny and subtle. It’s just right. But more importantly, the ring belonged to someone that Adam loved dearly.
Other good news is that I have shed my part-time job and my retail slave days are behind me and I swear I will never look back. I’m diving into a fulltime career of freelance photography and the water is warm and welcoming. Yes, I’m nervous, but my excitement and motivation eclipse that. It’s only been a few days, but lately? I’m waking up happy. I’m not dreading the day, I’m not exhausted and anxious by the thought of work, and I can feel the fires of my passion rekindling.
Damn it feels good.
It reminds me of my university years when I lived and breathed (including quite a bit of darkroom chemicals) photography. The Saturdays where I would spend 12 hours in the darkroom (I’m a perfectionist) at school working on a print. I feel like I’m back. The bits of my soul that were dying and blackened from that dreadful job are waking up rejuvenated and raring to go.
So Cheers! to change and love and happiness and to following your heart and your passion!
Cast Iron Skillet Apple Tarte Tatin
Adapted from The New York Times Essential Cookbook by Amanda Hesser
The crust on the tart is so flaky and buttery and French. I used a smaller skillet than was recommended in the recipe, but feel free to bake your tart in the full 10-inch skillet.
What you’ll need~
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks of cold butter cut into small chunks
1 large, or two small egg yolks whisked together with 2-4 tablespoons of cool water
Stir the flour and salt into a large bowl.
Add the butter and rub and smash the butter with your fingers until only tiny chunks remain.
Add the yolk mixture and stir.
Using your hands, form the dough into a bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Until the dough is firm yet workable.
For the filling:
4-6 tart apples such as Granny Smith
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar, I used raw, but the recipe calls for granulated
2 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
1/2 of the tart dough (freeze the other half or make two tarts)
Wash, quarter and core your apples. You can peel them if you like, but I didn’t.
Toss the lemon juice with the apples and set aside.
Warm your skillet on low heat and add sugar.
Once the sugar begins to melt, stir until all of the sugar is melted and is just beginning to caramelize.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Add the apple slices, peel side down and arrange symmetrically or haphazardly, like mine :) Sprinkle the butter onto the apples.
Place pan over medium heat and let to cook until the apple juices are nearly evaporated. About 20 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Place a rack on the bottom third of the oven and your oven to 375 degrees.
While the apples are cooking, generously flour a work surface and pat the dough into a round disk.
Roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. My dough was about 1/2 inch thick, but that’s because I need to do push-ups.
Place the round onto your apples and trim with about a 1/2-inch overhang.
Tuck the edges of the dough around the apples and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Until your dough is soft golden color.
Remove from the oven and let settle for about 10 minutes before you dig in.