- 75g (3oz) white sugar
- 75g (3oz) butter
- 5 large dessert apples, such as golden delicious
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 225g/8oz ready–made puff pastry
Tarte Tatin is French through and through. The “recipe” was accidentally achieved by a mishap in the kitchens of the Hotel Tatin in the town of Lamotte–Beuvron, deep in the Loire Valley. The Tatin sisters, Caroline and Stephanie, had inheritedthe hotel from their father in 1888. Caroline was the business manager, while Stephanie was the cook. Stephanie’s cooking had a good reputation, her apple tart was renowned. One day, however, she lightly cooked the apples and butter as usual, butthen, in haste, or by mistake, put the pastry crust over the top of them, instead of putting the apples into a pastry shell. She may have realised her mistake, but too late, it was done, and so the tart was baked. To serve this dessert Stephanieneeded to make it appear to be her usual apple tart, so she turned it upside down. Her diners loved it. In the oven, the apples, sugar, and butter had intensified their caramel flavour and the pastry crust was dry, light, and crisp. Unknown toStephanie, her mistake was to become a piece of culinary history and has enjoyed growing popularity worldwide ever since.
Oven 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 Pre Heated
- Put the sugar and butter into the tatin dish. Heat on a medium heat until the butter has melted.
- Peel, quarter and core the apples. Place in the dish rounded side down to fill the base. Sprinkle with the lemon juice. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and cool for a few minutes whilst rolling out the pastry.
- Roll the pastry to a circle the same size as the top of the dish. Press it lightly over the fruit, tucking the edges down around the edge so that when cooked it forms a rim to contain the fruit.
- Make four small steam holes.
- Transfer to the pre–heated oven and bake on the top shelf for 15–20 minutes until the pastry is well risen and golden brown.
- Allow to rest for 5 minutes before loosening around the edge with a knife. Invert on to a wide shallow plate.
Serve warm with whipped double cream or crème fraîche
Plums, Peaches or apricots may be used instead of apples. Cut into half and remove the stones.
Calvados Apple Brandy or Cognac can be used instead of the lemon juice.