Create a simple peach Tarte Tatin and some delicious book news

By Jim Bailey

Food historians have been arguing about the origin of Tarte Tatin since almost its origination. Yankee Chef logoTo the Yankee Chef, it is quite clear. At the Hotel Tatin in France, two sisters by the names of Stephanie and Caroline Tatin were both cooks and were in charge of the desserts on a daily basis.

One day, Stephanie was making an apple dessert and had forgotten about the apples she had been cooking in butter on the stovetop. Thinking she shouldn’t waste them, she quickly added a rolled out pastry dough on top of the apples and stuck the skillet in the oven, hoping to be able to at least create a caramelized apple pastry. When she removed the skillet from the oven and turned it out onto a plate, she was surprised that it wasn’t burnt at all and that everything came out perfectly. Ever since that day, this upside-down tarte has been a best seller at the hotel, and with global appeal.

Because of their popularity, many chefs and historians have argued that these upside-down treats were made many years beforehand, with M.A. Careme even giving a version of this recipe in his Le Patissier Royal Parisien, 1841. Regardless, Careme’s recipe is far different and more complex, therefore let’s let the little guy (or gal) win one, shall we?

Individual Peach Tarte Tatins

Peach Tarte TartinThe best way to invert these individual desserts is by holding a serving plate tightly on top and flipping both the plate and the ramekin together, ever so carefully. Serves 4

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1  frozen sheet butter puff pastry, thawed
2 small very firm peaches, pitted, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon minced peach peel (for color)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, optional

Preheat oven to 425-degrees F. Brush the inside of four ramekins with melted butter liberally. Using the bottom of a ramekin, cut out four circular shapes from the pastry, set on a plate, cover and refrigerate until needed. Transfer each cut half of the peach and place into each ramekin, cut side up. In a small bowl, mix together the sugars, peach peel and ground cloves and evenly distribute it among the four peach halves. Sprinkle each with equal an amount of melted butter on each along with vanilla and lemon juice. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until caramel starts to darken.
Remove from oven, reduce heat to 350-degrees F and top each with a pastry round. Return to oven and bake 5 to 6 minutes or until pastry is light brown and crisp.
Remove from the oven, let cool two minutes and invert onto serving plates carefully. Serve with whipped topping.

 Book news, and a big thank you

As many of you know, I have been waiting for some time now for my first cookbook to come out. And I am very proud to say that the day is finally here. Simply called The Yankee Chef, it is published by Schiffer Publishing of Atglen, PA, and I must say, it is absolutely beautiful. As odd as it sounds, the introduction and epilogue are the most valued parts of the book because I discuss the road it took to get to where I am today, and offer much information about the first two Yankee Chefs.

It is available through my publisher, or you can call Misty Valley Books at 802-875-3400 to order it, drop in at a Barnes & Noble or check out many online sites.

If you would like a personally signed copy, just email me at and I will reply promptly. My main site, is currently under a renovation so hang in there. You will be able to purchase my book therebut in the meantime, refer to my main blog,, for 100s of recipes and a link to the book.
A book-signing tour might begin in April, although that depends on other events.

I also am putting together a pitch/pilot for the TV Food Network.  You can view some of the cooking videos I have made with MPN Productions  by just going online and searching for them.

Thank you for reading my column. I truly appreciate the feedback, comments and ideas I have received from you. Keep them coming and I promise to keep responding. I will always be accessible.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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