The story of Tarte Tatin
Tradition says that the Tarte Tatin was first created by accident at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France in 1898. The hotel was run by two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin. 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. The Tarte became a signature dish at the Hotel Tatin and the recipe spread through the Sologne region. Its lasting fame is probably due to the restaurateur Louis Vaudable, who tasted the tart on a visit to Sologne and made the dessert a permanent fixture on the menu at his restaurant Maxim’s of Paris.
I am preparing my Tarte Tatin with Granny smite apples I love to cook them in the butter caramel there acidic flavour mixed with the caramel give them a wonderful taste.
10 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and cut into quarters
300g Basic Short crust Pastry
1. In a 26 cm heat resistant pie pan (or ovenproof fry pan), melt the butter and sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized.
2. Remove from heat and set aside. Let cool for 15 minutes.
3. Place the apple slices in the pan in 2 layers of concentric circles.
4. Return the pan to lowest possible heat and cook for 1 hour. Check from time to time to make sure that pan juices are gently simmering and not boiling.
5. Take the pan off the heat source and let cool for 15 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 180c.
7. In the meantime, roll out the short crust pastry 3 mm-thick on a lightly floured surface. Drape over the cooked apples, and use a sharp knife to cut the dough to fit the pan. Gather up the excess pieces of dough and make a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the freezer for future use.
8. Bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven.
9. Place a large plate over the top of the baking pan. (The plate should be larger than the pan). Using oven mitts hold the baking pan and plate together on both sides and quickly turn it over. Knock the bottom of the baking pan, and then remove it, to reveal a beautiful golden-colored cake. Serve immediately or store for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Serve warm.