The wonderful Tarte Tatin
OK, so there are a few stories out there about the history of this tart which are all, actually, very intriguing and gives the simple apple tart such endearing warmth. Probably the most known fact is that the tart’s name was taken from the two sisters Stephanie and Caroline Tatin, who owned and ran a hotel in LaMotte-Beuvron, a small town south of Paris, in the 1880’s.
One of the theories state that Stephanie was in the process of making an apple tart, when she nearly burned the apples and in an effort to save the dish, she quickly put pastry over the apples in the pot and baked it. When finished baking and turned out, the result was beautifully caramelised apples sitting on light and flaky pastry. The guests at the hotel was amazed by the tart and couldn’t get enough of it and so the famous Tarte Tatin was born. Beautiful story, right?
Well, I read the other day that Stephanie was baking her already famous apple tart that locals adored, when she accidentally dropped it as she was taking it out of the oven, because she was so tired. As the tart fell, it flipped over and landed on the pastry side. Stephanie quickly picked it up and placed it on a serving plate as it was – upside down – and still served it to her guests. Everyone was intrigued and fell in love with the “new” tart. From there on Stephanie prepared her apple tart as normal, but served it upside down!
I like the second story best as it makes me feel hopeful that something new and wonderful can rise from something that at first seemed like a flop.
I often make this tart when unexpected friends pop in. It is so simple to assemble. There’s obviously sugar in the cupboard and I make sure that there is always a puff pastry in the freezer. Sometimes I don’t have apples, then pears or even tinned peaches work just as well. It always hits the spot and any sweet craving is satisfied. And as a huge fan and follower of anything French, this recipe is a sure trump card I always have up my sleeve. Try it for yourself and come thank me later!