There are apparently several versions of the history of the Tarte Tatin, but there’s no doubt that this dessert, created in France in the 19th century, is much appreciated everywhere. It has a special place on my list of favorite apple desserts and we made one just a few days ago.
Yes, you read that right, “we”, because on this occasion Thomas got involved and helped out. While it was in the oven, we took some time to read a little about it. The most popular version of the story says that it was the Tatin sisters who in 1888 created this tart, at the hotel-restaurant that they ran in Lamotte-Beuvron, a commune in the Loire Valley. One of them would always bake an apple tart to offer clients and one day she made a mistake and placed the shortcrust pastry below and the apples on top.
If you want to know all the theories about how it was created, here’s a link to the Friends of the Tarte Tatin website.
Now, let’s go with the recipe. I hope it encourages you to have a go at it!
1,5 kg apples, we used around six Pink Lady apples
250 gr (2 cups) all-purpose flour
125 gr (½ cup) pure unsalted butter
35 ml (3 tbsp) very cold water
10 gr (1 ½ tsp) salt
150 gr (⅔ cups) white sugar
120 gr (½ cup) pure salted butter
Start by preparing the shortcrust pastry mixing the flour with the diced butter in a bowl. Add the water and the salt. After combining the ingredients well, work the dough on a flat surface until you get a smooth mix. Cover this with plastic wrap and let it set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can also prepare it the night before if you prefer.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). In a saucepan, caramelize the sugar and the butter over medium heat, mixing constantly, until it’s brown. Pour this into a 20-centimeter (8 inches) mould.
Now peel the apples, remove the core, and cut them into four pieces each. Place them close together, sideways, in a circle over the caramel, inside the mould. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, with top and bottom heat, so the apples absorb the caramel and soften. Remove from oven and let it cool.
Roll out the pastry, until it’s about 3mm (0,10 inches) thick. Give it a round shape. Cover the apples with the pastry, cut any excess dough around the sides and fold the edges inside the mould. Puncture with a fork and bake again for about 30-35 minutes or until it’s golden brown.
Remove from the oven, flip around quickly, with the help of a plate, because we don’t want the apples to cool down and stick to mould.
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