A couple years ago, Rachel compiled a cookbook for me riddled with recipes handed down from my family. The most sacred of all these recipes come from my grandmother who was a tremendous cook. She was just like one of those fabled Italian grandmothers you always read about, and the majority of her days would be spent in the kitchen cooking and baking and rolling out pasta. During the holidays, she would turn out some of her best creations.
In an attempt to reproduce her Easter Bread a good number of years ago, as a less accomplished cook, I killed the yeast and produced something borderline inedible. That experience scarred me for a long time and I strayed away from making any kind of bread. Since then, however, I’ve become a much better cook and this year I decided to give it another go. Along with the Easter bread, I made another one of her Easter treats, a Ricotta Pie. I love how both are perfectly perfumed with citrus.
Last weekend, in an attempt to pair a dessert with some rosemary flavored beer my friends brewed, I made a tarte tatin. I scented the apples and pastry slightly with some rosemary and citrus to accent the beer. I also opted to make a tart-type dough instead of using traditional puff pastry, because I find that puff pastry can be a bit too flaky and soggy.
Overall I was happy with the result, although it could have looked a bit more refined. Also, because I allowed the apples to cook so long, I think they became a bit to sweet to pair well enough with the beer.