Tarte tatinby Sarah McColl, Shine staff
The best thing about the changing seasons--aside from freshly sharpened pencils, the changing light, and kids holding footballs--is the whole new crop of seasonal foods to get excited about. My favorite fall food? Apples, always apples. And my favorite way to use them? Tarte tatin.
I have kind of a soft spot for rustic French cooking. It's not fussy, but it still feels special, and trying the recipes means I can pretend I'm in a farmhouse surrounded by lavender, instead of, you know, in my apartment surrounded by dirty, noisy city streets. (What is cooking if not a chance to imagine our ideal selves, am I right?)
Tarte tatin, if you've never made it, is just upside-down apple pie. But it's also so much more than that. Caramelized sugar, apples, and rich pastry result in something buttery and gorgeous that doesn't feel too heavy. It's my favorite fall baking treat. Sound intimidating (even though I swear it's not)? The Food Network's Anne Burrell shows how to make it, and the marvelous Dorie Greenspan demonstrates that infectious moment of excitement when you bravely flip the tart and reveal something sensational. It just never gets old.
SUPPER CLUB PICK
My after-school snack was a sacred ritual. I sat on the carpet in my parents' bedroom at a low table, the television turned to "I Dream of Jeannie," and ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into neat squares. I wasn't fussy about crusts. I just loved the sticky pairing of creamy peanut butter with syrupy golden sweetness drizzled from a honey bear in diagonals across the soft white bread. Nothing else--save for maybe apples and peanut butter in a pinch--could have made for as sweet an