Need something to cook this weekend? This is just such a classic, is not at all heavy, and is really easy to make. The perfect desert for both Summer and Winter. Really good in Winter served warm with a bit of cream or ice cream.
A bit of history, for those history fans…
The Tarte Tatin was first created by accident at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, about 100 miles (160 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 hot from the oven and a classic was born.
Now, for that recipe!
I highly reccoment making the pastry the day before. The pastry I am taking about here is a “pâte brisée” which is a rich and buttery flavor and is crisp and crumbly in texture. It works for both sweet (sucré) and savory (salé) tarts, pies and quiches. I usually make it in advance so that the pastry can rest overnight, and if you freeze it, it can be stored for about 3-4 weeks. You can defrost the pastry overnight (remember to put it in a bowl because it will leave a puddle in your fridge!)
J‘s Dad and I made this Tarte Tatin a while back and it’s just so delish!
For the pastry you will need: (for 950g of pastry- 3 large tartes for 8 people or 30 mini tartes)
500 g flour
20g caster sugar
2-3 teaspoons of milk
It is possible to use around 150g of salted butter if you like your pastry salty but not more or else it won’t be edible.
In an electric mixer, mix the salt and the sugar with the butter. Add the eggs and milk, mix for a few seconds then add the flour all at once (not bit by bit or else it will get over-mixed and hard)
Mix the pastry for the shortest time possible, just making sure everything is mixed in and there are no flour lumps. It shouldn’t be “elastic” and if there are small bits of butter in the pastry this is not a problem.
Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and divide into 3 pieces. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the freezer to chill for at least an hour.
Now, preheat the oven to 250C/500F.
You can use any apples you like, depending on where you are from, but try and use ones that don’t totally lose their shape because otherwise it will turn into apple compote!
For the filling:
- Around 7-8 apples, cored and cut into 8-12 wedges
- ¼ lemon
- 110g/4oz caster sugar
- 110g/4oz butter
Get the apples prepared, peel them and cut them into chunky pieces.
Sprinkle 85g/3oz of the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan and place on the hob over a medium heat, turning the pan frequently and making sure the sugar doesn’t burn.
Allow the sugar to caramelise a little and become a pale golden brown, then arrange the drained apple pieces in one layer over the bottom of the pan.
Before adding the apples we put in a bit of lemon juice for zest!
Unlike some recipes, we put the apples over the heat on a very low heat to caramalise them with the sugar for a while before putting in the oven. This takes around 10 minutes.
Cinnamon is always a must!
And a bit of butter so that it doesn’t stick.
When the apples start to steam like this, it’s a good sign, and you can now get the pastry ready.
Sprinkle the remaining sugar on the apples. Roll out one of the 1/3′s of pastry that you put in the freezer or fridge earlier and put it of the top of the semi-cooked apples. Pat it down.
Bake until the pastry is golden brown – about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for a minute or two.
Tap the pan sharply a few times all round with a wooden spoon, then lift off. The tart should be left on the serving dish with the apple on top.
Zozo loves it!
Not much left…
For those who are very keen and would like to find the perfect apple for their Tarte Tatin:
Originally, the Tarte Tatin was made with two regional apple varieties: Reine des Reinettes (King of the Pippins), and Calville.Over the years, other varieties have tended to displace them, including Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Gala. When choosing apples for a Tarte Tatin, as I mentioned above, it is important to pick some that will hold their shape while cooking, and not melt into apple sauce. In North America, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith or Jonathan or Jonathan are excellent choices.
Tarte Tatin can also be made with pears,peaches, pineapple, tomatoes or vegetables, such as onion.