Τarte Tatin was first created accidentally at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, about 160 km South of Paris, in the 1880s. The hotel was run by two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin. There are conflicting stories concerning the tart’s origin, but the most common is that Stéphanie Tatin, who did most of the cooking, was overworked one day. She started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long. Smelling the burning, she tried to rescue the dish by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, quickly finishing the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven. After turning out the upside down tart, she was surprised to find how much the hotel guests appreciated the dessert. In an alternative version of the tart’s origin, Stéphanie baked a caramelized apple tart upside-down by mistake. Regardless she served her guests the unusual dish hot from the oven and a classic was born.
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
- 4 medium green apples
- 60g butter
- ½ cup (100g) caster sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) brown sugar
- 1 vanilla pod
- Preheat oven to 190ºC.
- Defrost the pastry and then sandwich them together by pressing them gently so they stick together.
- Cut the pastry into approximately a 23cm round and set aside.
- Peel, core and cut the apples in quarters. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a ovenproof skillet or heavy frying pan over a low-medium heat.
- Stir in the sugars until it stars to caramelise.
- Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and stir into the butter mixture.
- Add the apples and cook at a simmer for 7 minutes, occasionally stirring and rotating the apples so they are coated with the caramel.
- Remove from the heat, rearrange the apples cut side up and lay the pastry over the top and tuck it in around the inside of the pan.
- Cut 4 slits in the pastry to let the steam out while cooking.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden all over.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a plate.
- Serve with cream or ice-cream or both.