How to Make the ‘Tarte Tatin’, an ‘Upside-Down’ Apple Tart and World-Famous Loire Valley Specialty
Legend has it that the Tarte Tatin was created by accident. At the end of the 19th century, the two Tatin sisters, owners of the popular Hotel-Restaurant Tatin at Lamotte-Beuvron in Sologne, overcooked the apples for an apple tart and then tried to rectify their mistake by placing the pastry on top and turning it upside down. The hotel guests loved it and – voila – a new dessert was born! Since then, it has made its way across the globe, with new forms invented every day, including those made with mangoes or papayas and even goat cheese and smoked salmon!
But the original version of this culinary classic is still the overwhelming favourite. It’s easy to make and tastes absolutely divine. Here’s the recipe:
7 apples (for a 10 inch pan)
For the pastry:
250g - 1 ½ cups plain sieved flour
1 tsp. salt; 50g - 5oz soft butter
60g - ½ cup sugar
For the caramel:
60g - ½ cup sugar
60g - 2oz butter
2 tbsp. water
Now just follow the steps below:
Remove butter from fridge and bring to room temperature.
In a mixing bowl, add the flour, then the butter and blend the ingredients until you get a sandy texture.
Add the sugar, the egg and the salt.
Knead and fold the dough, then shape it into a flat brick, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for two hours or more. Remove and let sit approx. 10 minutes.
Peel and core the apples then cut them into quarters.
In a hot ungreased frying pan or an ovenproof deep cake dish, add a little water to the caramel sugar, then the butter and stir until melted.
Arrange your apple quarters in a circle, vertically so they cover the entire pan.
Place frying pan back on low heat and cook the apples for 20 to 25 minutes.
Roll out your pastry to about 1/4 of an inch and cut it into a circle slightly larger than the pan.
Place it over the pan and tuck in the edges.
Bake in oven at 160ºC – 425ºF for 30 minutes (or until pastry is crisp and crusty).
Once cooked, place a board or a plate on top of your pan, and using both hands, flip over so the tart is upside down.
Remember to always serve warm, with a dollop of vanilla ice cream if you wish.
Congratulations! You are now a certified ‘Tarte Tatin” pro so relax and enjoy!
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