18 October 2011 § 15 Comments
I love tarte tartin - plenty of butter and caramelized apples with a flaky, light pastry – how could you not like it? As the story goes a group of hotel guests in France certainly enjoyed it back in 1898.
It may be an urban myth but it is a good one – two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin ran the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Bouvron, France. Poor overworked Stéphanie started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar and burned them. She then tried to rescue the dish by turning upside down. This pleased the hotel guests et voilà the rest is history.
After the success of our Ottolenghi-athon fellow blogger, Kimberli, of The Mackay Way, asked if I would like to make a tarte tatin with her. She had just been apple picking so I naturally cleared my calendar pretty fast.
Here’s how to make it – first melt the butter on the stovetop in an ovenproof dish or pan.
Then add the sugar and arrange the apple slices on top of the butter. Then boil for about 20 minutes.
Put back on the stovetop on a high heat and cook until the apples brown. Then turn over the apple slices and cook the other side until they are golden and caramelized.
Roll out the pastry (a basic pâte brisée – that’s just French for pie dough) and add a dollop of a mixture of more butter and confectioners’ sugar. This makes the pastry flaky and, you guessed right, buttery.
Fold the pastry over the butter and sugar lump to make a parcel and put back into the fridge to rest again.
Roll out the pastry parcel and cover the apple dish.
Bake. Then let cool for a out 15 minutes. Turn over and voilà!
This tarte tatin does come with a health warning. I’m not talking about the three sticks of butter, but the caramel. It is hot, hotter than Hades, which I would imagine is pretty hot.
So no matter how tempting it smells, do not try while cooking, or you may find yourself going to the Burns Unit at your local hospital. Also as the caramelization is done on the stove top be careful with small kids around as the smell is guaranteed to get them interested.
For the full recipe with precise ingredients – always useful for baking - you’ll have to go to Kimberli’s recipe.