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Culinary SOS

A Tarte From Joe Miller's Book

February 29, 1996|ROSE DOSTI

DEAR SOS: The apple tarte tatin at Joe's restaurant in Venice is the best this side of the Atlantic (or maybe the other side too). Would you ask Chef Joe Miller for the recipe?

--SUSAN

DEAR SUSAN: Joe is a fine California chef, and his French apple tarte tatin is simple and indeed very good. He warns that the apple syrup will make a mess while it bubbles on your stove top. "If the spatter is cleaned up while it is still hot," he says, "the syrup will wipe right off."

JOE MILLER'S TARTE TATIN

15 to 18 Red Delicious apples

1 1/2 cups butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 sheet packaged or homemade puff pastry

Whipped cream or ice cream, optional

Peel, core and cut apples in half. Set aside.

Melt butter in 10-inch straight-sided skillet or saute pan and add sugar. Dissolve sugar over medium heat.

Arrange apples, rounded-side up, around pan in spiral fashion. Lay any remaining apples on top of others. Cook over medium heat, shaking and spinning apples in pan to keep them from sticking. When first layer of apples has cooked until soft, squeeze remaining apples into pan between spaces. Continue to cook until apples caramelize and turn dark brown and clear, 40 to 45 minutes.

Place puff pastry sheet on clean surface. Cut circle from sheet size of diameter of pan. Lay pastry round on top of apples in skillet and bake at 350 degrees until pastry is browned, about 20 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and place large serving plate over browned pastry. Invert tart, right-side up, and remove pan. Reshape tart with spatula to well-shaped, smooth tart. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Makes 8 servings.

Each serving, without whipped cream or ice cream, contains about:

786 calories; 487 mg sodium; 93 mg cholesterol; 46 grams fat; 96 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 4.29 grams fiber.

Coffee With Zing

DEAR SOS: Do you have a recipe for a commercial-type flavored instant coffee?

--LORRAINE

DEAR LORRAINE: You basically add powdered flavorings to the instant coffee of your choosing. The flavor will be much better, however, if you use freshly ground beans to make coffee or cappuccino in the usual way, then add your flavorings on top.

INSTANT FLAVORED COFFEE

1 cup instant cocoa mix

1/2 cup instant coffee

Hazelnut powder, vanilla powder or other powdered flavorings to taste.

Combine cocoa mix, coffee and other flavorings, if desired. Mix until well blended. Store in covered container to use as needed. Use 2 teaspoons mix for each cup serving.

Makes 1 1/2 cups mix.

Each 2-teaspoon serving contains about:

12 calories; 1 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 0 fat; 3 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.20 gram fiber.

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