This week has turned into apple week here at Feasting on Art. This still life was requested by my mother before she knew that my last post would feature an apple recipe based on my childhood memories. Strangely I made it a full 24 years without ever making an omelet and in a way I am quite happy that I held out for this one. It is so wonderfully delicious that I am glad it was my first. Made with homemade dulce de leche, it is the perfect addition to any brunch and with Mother’s Day just around the corner I felt it was an apt time for this lavish breakfast post.

Paul Gauguin, Apples and Bowl, 1888
oil on canvas, 27 x 35 cm, private collection

Paul Gauguin (full name Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin) was a Post-Impressionist painter whose art heralded the return to the pastoral (idealized landscapes) and Primitivism. He was a major influence in the development of Modern art with his bold colours and design oriented paintings. His travels in Central America impacted his work as he incorporated the symbolic depth, exaggerated body proportions, and stark contrasts of the ‘native’ art he encountered. He abandoned traditional European painting and focused on pure colours separated by thick black outlines (1). Gauguin owned a still life by Cezanne and he seemed to emulate characteristics of Cezanne’s art in the painting above. The round circular forms of the apples and the black bowl do not correlate with regard to the perspective in the picture plane and the wildness of Cezanne’s brush mark is also found in Gauguin’s handling of paint on the tablecloth.

An omelet is a beaten egg that is cooked in a frying pan in butter (or oil) with some sort of filling whether it be cheese, meat, or vegetables. The top side of the omelet is not cooked prior to folding it into a trifold design. They are thought to have originated in Ancient Persia before travelling to Europe to become a frittata, tortilla, and omelette in Italy, Spain, and France respectively. In 2002 the largest omelet in the world was made in Ontario, Canada which weighed 2.95 tons (2).

Dulce de leche, sometimes known as milk jam, is prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a thick sauce that tastes similar to caramel. It is found all over Latin America and there is a similar version from France called confiture de lait. Up until 1984 when the company went out of business, there was a solid candy made of dulce de leche in Argentina called Vaquita “little cow”. It has been gaining recoginition recently because of its use in commercial foodstuffs including Häagen-Dazs, Starbucks, and in dulce de leche flavored Girl Scout Cookies (which I have yet to try, they were only introduced this year) (3).

{Caramelized Apple Omelet}

adapted from Gourmet
serves 2

2 TB butter
2 tsp sugar
1 apple, peeled, cored, and cut into slices
3 eggs
2 TB sour cream
2 TB dulce de leche
2 TB goats cheese

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add sugar and cook stirring until dissolved. Add apple and cook turning the slices once until golden and tender.

Whisk together the eggs with a pinch of sea salt. Add the eggs to the apples in the skillet and cook over a medium-low heat, lifting the edges of the omelet so the raw egg can flow below. Cook about two minutes until the omelet is set on top but still most. Dollop the sour cream, goats cheese and dulce de leche across the center of the omelet.

Fold the bottom third of the omelet over the filling and holding the skillet over a plate carefully slide the omelet out and fold the last third over the filling. Cut in half and divide between 2 plates.

{Dulce de Leche}

1 can (400g/14oz) sweetened condensed milk

Pour one can of sweetened condensed milk into a shallow pie dish and sprinkle a bit of salt on the top.

Set the dish in a water bath in a roasting pan with the water rising about half way up the sides of the pie dish.

Cover the pie plate with aluminum foil and bake about an hour in an oven at 425F (220C). Remove from the oven and whisk until smooth once cool. Store in the refrigerator and warm slightly before use.