Tarte Tatin

Who knows why some upside-down cakes are call Tatin? I do.  "Of course she does", would my old classmates say. I was the girl in the class who always raised her hand to answer every question. Some people hated me for that, whatever...

Anyway, back to the tart. La Tarte Tatin gets its name from the restaurant Hotel Tatin, in France, where it was created and became their signature dessert in the 1880s. The legend says that one of the sisters who owned the restaurant was making an apple pie but she overcooked the apples. 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. This is a perfect example of how most of the greatest discoveries happen accidentally.

I had this recipe for Tarte Tatin sitting in my email in-box for a while. The sender, my mom, has been making it pretty often recently because it's a big success in my family. Last Saturday, when I went to the farmers market and I saw these delicious apples, I realized that the time to make the tart had arrived.

When making a new dish, and even more when it is a popular one, I try to compare as many recipes as I can find. Doing this, I realized that most recipes for Tarte Tatin tell you to cook the apples before putting the tart in the oven. However, my mom's recipe didn't. This is great because I don't want to give you a recipe that you can find in every single cooking site.

I made it last night. I used this pan because it is ovenproof. If you don't have an ovenproof pan or a stove-proof cake pan, you can make the caramel in a regular pan and then transfer it to a cake pan before adding the apples. I am sure it will work.

The result was spectacular. BIG THANKS MOM! This is just awesome! Scott got mad at me because I didn't let him try it until I was done taking pictures of it, and it took me a while. He loved it, we both had two pieces and then I had another one for breakfast this morning.

As you can guess from these pictures, I haven't given up editing after getting the new camera. However, only a few white balance and contrast adjustments got me the picture below. Isn't it pretty?  I think I am going to eat the last piece.

Tarte Tatin

5 apples
1/2 cup/ 100 g sugar
The juice of an orange
1/2 stick/ 50 g butter
1 sheet of puff pastry

Preheat the oven at 180º C/ 350º F. 

Peel, core, and cut the apples into wedges. In a deep ovenproof skillet, melt the butter and add the orange juice and the sugar to make a liquid syrup. Arrange the apple wedges in the pan, rounded side down, trying to make packed concentric circles (I wasn't very successful at this). 

Use a rolling pin (or a wine bottle ) to roll the pastry sheet into a big square and cut it into a circle big enough to cover the apples. Lay the pastry over the apples and stab it with a fork several times so the air can scape in the oven. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. 

Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Then turn the pan upside-down onto a plate. Enjoy warm with some vanilla ice cream or  some cream.

1 comment:

  1. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help making this comment. The mix butter-sugar-juice needs get browner,toffee coulour,and not syrup like but toffee like.Also you have to put many more apples very close together, round side up, filling any hole with smaller pieces. The heat makes the apples shrink. In any case, you are becoming a great cook. I'm proud of you.