Tarte des demoiselles Tatin
History: Research shows that the tarte Tatin was created accidentally at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, about160 km south of Paris, in the 1880s. The hotel was run by two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin. There are conflicting stories concerning the tart’s origin, but the most common is that Stéphanie Tatin, who did most of the cooking, was overworked one day. She started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long. Smelling the burning, she tried to rescue the dish by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, quickly finishing the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven. After turning out the upside down tart, she was surprised to find how much the hotel guests appreciated the dessert. In an alternative version of the tart’s origin, Stéphanie baked a caramelized apple tart upside-down by mistake, regardless she served her guests the unusual dish However, whatever the veracity of this story, the concept of the « upside down tarts » was not a new one. For instance, patissier M. A. Carême already mentions glazed gâteaux renversés adorned with apples from Rouen or other fruit in his « Pâtissier Royal Parisien » (1841).
The tarte became a signature dish of the Hôtel Tatin. Historians and gourmets have argued, whether it is a genuine creation of the Demoiselles (sisters) Tatin, or the branding of an improved version of the « tarte solognote », a traditional dish named after the Sologne region which surrounds Lamotte-Beuvron. Research suggests that, while the tarte became a specialty of the Hôtel Tatin, the sisters did not set out to create a « signature dish »; they never wrote a cookbook or published their recipe; they never even called it tarte Tatin. That recognition was bestowed upon them by Curnonsky, famous French author and epicure, as well as the Parisian restaurant Maxim’s after the sisters’ deaths.
1 One Cooking pan “sauteuse” diameter 20cm x 5cm
7 Golden apples delicious (average 210gr each)
160 gr of unsalted butter
160gr of granulated sugar
200 gr of Puff pastry
1-Roll the pastry to a 3mm-thick round on a lightly floured surface and cut a 22cm circle, using a plate as a guide. Lightly prick all over with a fork, wrap in cling film on a baking sheet and keep in the fridge while preparing the apples.
2-Peel, quarter and core the apples. (Keep the apple skin to make a cider butter sauce)
3-Put the butter in the sauce pan (see photo) and add the sugar in. (See photo).
To assemble the Tarte Tatin, arrange the apple quarters very tightly in a circle around the edge of the pan. (see photo) Gently press with your hands to ensure there are no gaps.
Place the pan over a medium-high heat. Cook for 5 to 7 mins and then place the pan in a pre-heated oven and Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and drain the extra cooking juice into another pan and reduce this juice to a light caramel colour and pour this caramel over the cooked apples. Let cool down.
Place the puff pastry disc on top.
Tuck the edges down the inside of the dish and, with a knife, prick a few holes in the pastry to allow steam to escape.
Bake for a further 40-45 mins until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.
5-Allow the tarte Tatin to cool down before running a knife around the edge of the dish and inverting it onto a large serving plate that is deep enough to contain the juices. Serve with crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream.