The Tarte Tatin is a classic in French baking. This upside-down apple tart was invented by accident in 1898. Caroline and Stephanie Tatin, owners of a little hotel in Lamotte-Beuvron created this recipe whilst being busy serving people for lunch. The legend says that one of the sisters was in a rush and forgot to produce the dessert. She peeled and threw the apples in the dish and started baking the tart, but a few minutes later she realised that she forgot to put the pastry at the bottom of the dish. So, she decided to put the pastry on top of the dish and continued baking! Once the pastry looked cooked, she served the tart upside-down. People in the hotel gave the sisters many comments on how beautiful and delicious the dessert was. It became their signature dish and today remains a classic. The Tart Tatin was Born.
Since my cooking journey started in Normandy, where we grow many apples and the best Calvados, I was prone to make this tart weekly and sometimes daily. Hence, the reason I like to share my old recipe with you as it is a winner.
- 1 egg
- 125g plain flour
- 80g unsalted butter
- 20g sugar
- 2g salt
- 20g plain flour (to roll our pastry) or 300g pre made short crust or puff pastry
- 450g red gala apples
- 50g unsalted butter
- 60g sugar
- 2g cinnamon
(Preparing the pastry)
- Sift your flour in a large bowl.
- Add the salt and sugar to the flour and mix it in.
- Dice the cold butter in small cubes.
- Crack the egg one by one in a separate bowl to avoid shell in the dough.
- Add the butter to the flour and with your fingertips squiz the butter and the flour together. Keep grabbing little pieces of butter and squiz it until it forms a sandy texture. This could take 5 minutes.
- Once it is becoming sandy rub the flour and butter together between your hands for another few minutes.
- Create a well in the centre and add the egg.
- Using one hand mix all ingredients together until it comes together as a ball. If your mixture does not combine well enough add few drops of cold water.
- Do not over work the pastry. If you have a bowl mixer equipment it is time to use it. Use the dough hook and work the dough until its nice and smooth. It should take 3 to 4 min with the spade attachment. Your dough should feel firm and breaking on the edge (the short texture of this pastry).
- Wrap your dough in plastic film and keep in the fridge to rest for 1 hour at least.
- Preheat oven to 220c.
- Prepare your tart tin, skillet, dish, with 20 g of soft butter and brush the inside roughly the inside.
- Combine sugar and the cinnamon.
- Add the sugar to your tart dish and spread it all over the inside. It should stick to the butter.
- Leave your pastry on the bench to come back to room temperature. It will be easier to roll out.
- Meanwhile, peel and core your apples cutting each one into 8 portions.
- Place the apple inside the dish over lapping each other a little bit.
- Sprinkle the remaining sugar all over your apples
- Dice the butter in to little cubes and spread the cubes over your apples.
- Using a rolling pin and a bit of flour, dust your bench with flour and roll out your dough to 2-3 mm thin.
- With a small knife and with the help of a plate, bowl or template, cut a circle of dough of the size of the tart dish (here it is 20cm diameter).
- Save the left over pastry for another occasion or freeze it.
- Place the disk of short crust pastry over the apples and prick the top of the pastry with a fork. Let the tart rest for 30 min in the fridge.
- Bake the tart for 35-40 min. Let it cool down for 15 min.
- Using a plate or serving dish, turn the apple tart upside down. Be careful to not burn yourself with caramelized sugar. Lift the tart dish and voila.
- Serve the tart warm or slightly reheated is the best. Best match is simple crème fraiche or thicken cream, vanilla ice-cream or apple sorbet.
- Pair it with a sweet wine, a Champagne, sweet Riesling, cider, Pommeau or go hard core with a glass of Calvados.