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Tarte Tatin, this emblematic dessert of French cuisine, has seduced for decades with its simplicity and deliciousness. If it may seem intimidating at first glance, don’t worry, with a few tips, you can make a tarte Tatin at home worthy of the greatest pastry chefs. So, put on your apron!
In the 19th century, in the village of Lamotte-Beuvron, two sisters, Caroline and Stéphanie Tatin, managed a successful inn. The story goes that one day, in a rush, Stéphanie forgot to put the dough in the bottom of her apple pie. To make up for her mistake, she put the dough on top of the caramelized apples in the pan, thus giving rise to the famous upside-down tart. But according to Larousse Gastronomique, this story is only a simple legend, the sisters simply had the genius to make this Sologne tart popular.
The choice of apples is essential to make a successful tarte Tatin. Not all varieties of apples are suitable for this recipe. To obtain soft, slightly sweet apples that hold up well to cooking, choose the following varieties:
La Golden : These apples are known for their tender flesh and mild flavor. They lend themselves perfectly to tarte Tatin while retaining their melting texture.
The Reinette: Reinette apples, with their slightly tart flesh and firm texture, are also an excellent choice for this dessert.
La Boskoop: Boskoop apples have a tangy flavor and texture that holds up well to cooking. They bring a note of freshness to your tarte Tatin.
For a small tatin for 4 people, you should count on 3-4 apples, for a version for 6-8 people, count on 8 apples.
Peel and seed them then cut them into quarters, trying to give them a rounded shape.
One of the keys to the success of tarte Tatin lies in cooking the apples twice, both in the oven and in the pan. This method allows you to obtain perfectly caramelized and tender apples. For this, you need a saucepan that is not too large with fairly high edges and that can go in the oven (so without a plastic handle). For the 8 person version, you can use a frying pan.
We will come and assemble the tatin directly inside: we start by adding the butter with sugar (60 g of each) and we arrange the apples cut into quarters along the standing wall. Then cover with a disk of puff pastry the diameter of the pan. With this method, the apples will slowly caramelize and stew. When the caramel is golden brown, place it in an oven preheated to 180°C for 45 minutes.
Enjoy it while still warm, it’s much better! Tatin is not a dessert that can be prepared in advance, because the moisture from the apples will quickly soften the dough.
To enhance your tarte Tatin, you can serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of thick crème fraîche.