Tarte Tatin can be described as a French upside-down apple tart. This mouthwatering dessert was created by accident at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron in 1898. But it didn't become popular until the famed Maxim’s Restaurant put it on their menu.
According to historians, Maxim's owner Louis Vaudable decided he must have the recipe after tasting the tart on a visit to Sologne. The story suggests that he sent a cook/spy disguised as a gardener to Lamotte-Beuvron to discover the secret.
The spy was successful and brought the recipe back to Maxim’s. The dish has been the star of Maxim's menu ever since.
With summer on the way this is a great dish to compliment any meal. Full of fresh fruit and exciting flavours, a Tarte Tatin will appeal to all tastes.
• 1 x quantity soured cream short crust pastry (alternatively, you can use puff or sweet shortcrust pastry
• 4 x eating apples (Granny Smith is very good or Golden Delicious)
• 125g (4 1/2 oz) caster sugar
• 100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) water
• 25g (1oz) butter
• 1 egg, beaten
• Whipped cream, ice cream or whipped cream with a little icing sugar and cinnamon to serve
• Make the pastry and allow to chill.
• Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400°F), Gas mark 6.
• To prepare the apples, peel them with a peeler to keep them in a nice rounded shape, then cut into quarters. Remove the core from each quarter and set aside. Don’t worry if they go brown, and don’t cover in water or they will be too wet.
• Place the sugar and water in an ovenproof saucepan (20–22cm diameter ovenproof saucepan) set over a low-medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil the syrup until it starts to caramelise around the edges - about 5 minutes. Do not stir once it has come to the boil otherwise the syrup will crystallise. Once the syrup starts to turn golden, you may need to swirl the pan slightly to even out the caramelisation.
• Once the syrup is a golden caramel in colour, add the butter and swirl the pan again to distribute it through the caramel.
• Remove the pan from the heat, and place the apple quarters in a concentric circle around the outside and any remaining pieces in the centre, keeping in mind that the tart will be flipped over when serving. The apples must completely cover the base of the pan - you may need an extra apple!
• Place the pan back over a medium heat and cook for 10 minutes to slightly caramelise the apples, while you roll out the pastry.
• Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to a round 2cm (3/4 in) wider in diameter than the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and place the pastry on top of the almost cooked apples. Using the base of a spoon or a fork, tuck the pastry in around the edges of the apples. Brush the pastry with beaten egg then, using a skewer or fork, prick a few holes in the pastry.
• Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the apples feel cooked when you insert a skewer through the centre.
• Remove from the oven and allow to stand for just a few minutes before placing a plate on top of the pan and carefully (it is hot!) but quickly flipping it out. Use a plate with a slight lip to catch the delicious juices. • Cut into slices to serve. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream or whipped cream with a little icing sugar and cinnamon m.
After whipping this up in your own kitchen, why not see how the French do it? Browse a list of all our trips to France to find the one that best suits you. You can also see all our trips to Europe for more inspiration.
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