Tarte tatin is said to have been born out of a culinary mistake. It’s mooted that it has it’s origins in the kitchens of a railway hotel in the town of Lamotte-Beuvron, amid the forests of Sologne, just south of Orléans in north-central France. The hotel exists to this day and was known, at the turn of the 20th century, when it was in the hands of the two Tatin sisters, for its excellent apple tarts
It was during the high season that the older sister, Stéphanie, who oversaw the food, made the famous mistake: shoving a tart into the oven upside down, or possibly without its pastry base, depending on which account you believe. She decided to make the best of a bad job and serve it anyway. Perhaps she reasoned that, by the time the guests got to dessert, they’d be too merry to notice the difference. But someone did, and a classic was born.
It is well known that fruit tarts are an ancient speciality of the Sologne region, and the gâteau renversé existed long before the Tatin sisters opened their hotel in the dying years of the 19th century. But it’s also on record that, by 1903, the Tatin’s tart was well-known enough for the journal of a local geographical society to describe it — in an account of a field trip in the area — as ‘famous all over Sologne’, suggesting that, even in the homeland of apple tarts, Stéphanie’s version was in some way special.
By the 1920s, word had spread far enough for the celebrated Parisian critic Curnonsky, ‘Prince of Gastronomes’, to recommend ‘the famous apple or pear tarte from the demoiselles Tatin of la Motte-Beuvron’ in his French travel guide.
You can now make it. Or even better come onboard our kosher river cruise on the Amadeus Diamond and learn how to make it in one of our master class cookery demonstrations or better still relax and enjoy it with a nice side of ice cream and a classic paired French kosher wine to enhance the experience.
Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe
For the Pie Crust
- 1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ stick cold butter or margarine
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening
- 2 – 3 tablespoons ice water
- In a bowl, combine flour & salt. With your hands combine the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Use your thumb and first finger.
- Sprinkle in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with a fork after each addition, the dough should be moist enough to hold together.
- Shape the dough into a thick pancake shape, wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Ingredients for the filling
- 6 Tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 31/4 pounds Golden delicious type apples. Peeled, cored and cut in half.
- Take the pastry and roll it into a 12-inch round shape and then transfer onto a cookie sheet. Then refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- In a 10” skillet, combine butter, sugar & lemon juice; cook over a medium heat until butter melts and the mixture starts bubbling. Place the prepared apples in the skillet, make sure they overlap. Cook for 10 minutes, making sure to turn the apples to cook evenly. Turn the apples rounded side down. Cook until the syrup has thickened and is amber color, around 8 12 minutes.
- Place the pastry dough on top of the apples (all in the skillet). Fold the edges of the dough to form rim around the apples.
- With a knife, cut six ¼-inch slits in the dough so steam can escape.
- Bake for around 25 minutes or until the crust is golden.
- When the cooking is completed, place a large platter on top of the pastry. Turn upside down so everything leaves the skillet in one even movement.
- If serving warm leave for 30 minutes.
- Serve with ice cream or cream, your choice.