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The legend of the Tatin Pie

Do you know the legend of the Tarte Tatin? Originally from Lamotte-Beuvron, it's the result of a bit of luck and absent-mindedness. Let's discover the story!

An accident that became a legend

We owe the tasty recipe of the Tarte Tatin to an accidental discovery. Legend has it that the tart appeared at the end of the 19th century. Two sisters ran a hotel and restaurant in Lamotte-Beuvron, Caroline Tatin, who took care of the reception while Stéphanie Tatin, did the cooking. Her specialty was apple pie, served at the same caramelized and meltingly soft.

It was on one busy lunchtime service when clumsiness struck her. Wishing to meet the request of one of the customers, Stephanie forgot to add the pastry to a tart before putting it in the oven, she was panic-stricken for not being able to produce a dessert. The apples were beginning to caramelize in the oven and not knowing what to do after her distraction, she took some dough and put it over the apples. Totally dismayed, she then had the idea to take a dish and return the whole thing. The Tarte Tatin was born!

A true legend? Or a pure commercial invention ? Several stories circulate about the paternity of the recipe. For some, the tart is a specialty of Sologne, made famous by the Tatin sisters. For others, the mere clumsiness of a sister. Then who's right?

And for you, here's the recipe for tart tatin. Quick and easy, its tantalizing smell will embalm your entire home!

Ingredients for 6/8 people and you will need a springform cake tin about 26 cm in diameter:

  • 8 apples of identical size (usually I'll take 1 or 2 more apples to be sure)
    I usually use small yellow or red apples like the Reinette or the Elstar. These apples are slightly sour and hold very well for cooking. Try to take small apples because it's easier to arrange them and it will look better when you return the tart.
  • 1 ready-prepared shortcrust pastry or homemade pastry
    Personally, I prefer to make my own shortcrust pastry. It's fast and it's possible to incorporate the flavour I like. If you like you can put cinnamon or vanilla! You will find the recipe for the shortcrust pastry at the end if you want to make your own.

For the Caramel : 300 g sugar + vanilla seeds

Take a large saucepan to avoid having a large thickness of sugar in the pot.

Step 1
Put the sugar and vanilla seeds in the pot and leave it on medium heat. Very important, do not stir the sugar. Let it Cook.

Step 2:
When the caramel begins to form, make circles with the pan in order to cover the rest of the uncooked sugar. You should avoid using a spoon to mix because it forms clumps of sugar that will no longer dissolve.

Step 3:
Cook until the caramel is deep red and fluid.

Step 4:
Pour the caramel into the bottom of the cake tin, level it out and leave it to settle.

Preparing the apples:
Peel and cut the apples in 4.
Before assembly preheat oven to 180 ° (thermostat 6).

For assembly:
Spread the dough (not too thin) cut it in a circle the size of the cake tin + about 1 cm extra and set aside.

Take the cake tin with the hardened caramel at the bottom. Add 2-3 small nobs of butter to the caramel and start laying the apple wedges in a circle. You need to place them tightly together.

As soon as the cake tin is filled place the pastry on top and tuck it in as much as you can on the sides.

Bake the tart tatin 30 min at 180 ° then 30 min at 150 ° (thermostat 6).

The top should be lightly golden, if the oven is too hot, decrease the heat or cover the tart with aluminum foil. When the tart is cooked let it stand for 15 min and then return it onto a plate. You have to return it while it's still hot.

It's better to taste the tart it when it's slightly warm ! Personally I sometimes make a Tarte Tatin with Granny Smith apples to give it more acidity. And I really like to add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on top when it's hot. Or you can replace the vanilla ice-cream with cinnamon. I avoid putting both because the cinnamon quickly takes over the other flavours.

For the shortcrust pastry
300g of flour
1 big pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of sugar
150g of melted butter
1 medium egg yolk
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
Water (about 8CL)

Step 1
Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl.

Step 2
Add the butter and then stir it into the flour, kneading it quickly and lightly with your fingertips. You should obtain small pieces of dough.

Step 3
Stir in the egg yolk and water and vanilla. It's necessary to put only a small amount of water and to incorporate it little by little according to the consistency of the dough. At the end the dough should make a smooth ball that doesn't stick.

Step 4
Put the dough in the bowl. Film the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Bon appétit !

Aphélie from Comme des Français



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