La tarte des demoiselles Tatin

At the end of the XIXth century, two sisters Caroline and Stéphanie Tatin ran this charming country hotel in the village of Lamotte-Beuvron situated in the beautiful region of Sologne, in France. Stéphanie was in charge of managing the hotel and Caroline cooked and prepared meals for the many hunters who spent the week end in Sologne. One day, there were so many clients that Caroline got a bit distracted and while making an apple tart, she did it the wrong way, put the apples first in the mold then the pastry. She got all confused and turned it over before presenting it to the customers who found this dessert truly delicious : the caramelized apples were pleasantly sweet and soft. And a new sweet star was born : the tarte Tatin which Curnonsky, the famous gastronomy critic baptized the tarte des demoiselles Tatin in 1926.

Actually the anecdotes vary as to how the tarte was created. Some say, in their haste, the sisters dropped the tarte on the floor and put it back in the wrong order in the mold to bake a bit more. Others said Caroline let the tarte burn in the oven then added more pastry on top.....
Anyway, we must thank them for having created such a great dessert which on top of that is very simple to make...Ready ?

This is the recipe I use to make my tarte Tatin (a combination of Pierre Hermé's recipe and others recipe found on the net). I apologize to all my readers who are not familiar with the European measures but I don't know how to convert grams in cups !

For 6 persons, you need:

1,5 kg of apples (golden or reinette- the kind of apple which bakes well)
250g of pâte brisée (or you can buy an already made pastry roll)
250g of sugar
130g of butter

First, prepare your pâte brisée with 190g of butter, 250g of flour and 5 cl of water or milk.

Cut the butter in very small dice and crush it with a spatula in a bowl.
Pour the liquid little by little on the butter and move with the spatula.
Sift the flour and add it little by little.
Don't work the dough too much.
Make sure all the ingredients are well mixed together and that the texture is homogeneous. Roll the dough into a ball.
Wrap it into a plastic film and let it rest in the fridge for 2h.

Note: it's important to let the dough rest because then the pastry is much more elastical

Preheat the oven at 180ºC.

Peel the apples and cut them in quarters of halves.

In a pan, cook the butter and sugar together until you obtain a brown caramel. Make sure it doesn't get too dark, otherwise the caramel will taste bitter.

Pour the caramel into the mold (25cm diameter).

Place the sliced apples on the caramel and bake for 50mn to 1h at 180ºC.

Take out the mold from the oven and let it cool.

Extend the dough (it must be 2,5mm thick) then cover the apples with it. Make sure you cover the mold very well.

Bake for 30mn until the dough is golden.

Take out the mold out of the oven. Let it cool a bit. Turn the pie upside down and eat it warm or lukewarm.

In France, the tarte Tatin is often served with cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream but the purists claim this is not the real tarte Tatin...oh well...sometimes it's good to transgress traditional rules !

Bon appétit !

pic # 1 is from the official site of Lamotte-Beuvron town


oiacaveman said…
Delightful story... beautiful tarte and what I wouldnt give for that small, charming hotel ;-)
Hope you're getting better daily lovely girl !
David Engel said…
So glad you're appetite is back and that you're sharing a delicious Tarte Tatin with us. I've enjoyed them since I was little and my Mom made them. Yummy!


studioJudith said…
Merci, Madame Lala!
I am so anxious to try your yummy treat ... .

Merisi said…
I have never dared to bake a Tarte Tartin,
simply afraid of ruining good apples. ;-)
I baked a free-form apple tart, though -
apples this time of the year do their magic without much prodding, don't they?

Now, maybe I shall take all my courage and try your recipe, next time!
vchelle said…
It's enough to look at this tasty dish!!
dutchbaby said…
I am happy to see that you are well enough to bake! Your Tarte Tatin looks scrumptious. The story of how it was accidentally created reminds me of how pot stickers (Chinese dim sum dumplings) were said to be invented because they fell from the warming tray into the wok.

I like getting recipes with weight measurements instead of volume measurements; it's more accurate.
dutchbaby said…
I'm scrolling back over your photos. May I have some vanilla ice cream and a spoon please?
Martha said…
I adore Tart Tatin. I don't make it often, but I used to when we lived in Normandy. Susan Loomis taught me how; she lives on rue Tatin! Pass la creme fraiche svp.
Patricia said…
Hello, Lala,

Thank you so much for this sweet historic tale. We have such delicious apples coming from the orchards now..I will try your recipe.

Thank you also for your dropping by my other blog, Reform School Art. I am glad that you are up and about and doing so well!
DolceDreams said…
My mouth is watering! What a fun story, it is nice to know the histoire behind dishes...I will have to try this, I have never been too good at pies, better with cakes, but I do sooo love tarte tatin!
Have a happy day, I hope that you are feeling better each day :)
One of may favorite sweets, thank you for sharing!
TheChicGeek said…
Lala, what a delightful way to introduce us to your recipe. I love that you have included the history...what a fun tale :D

And, of course, this is one of my favorite sweets! Yummy!

Thank you!

"Some say, in their haste, the sisters dropped the tarte on the floor and put it back in the wrong order in the mold to bake a bit more."

Ha! Sounds like something I would do. This recipe sounds delicious. I'm very particular with my desserts, but apples, caramel, pastry? I will have to give this one a try.
Joyful said…
That's a sweet story of the tarte tatin. I never knew of it before and it looks so yummy.
Carla said…
I have always wanted to try and cook this tart, god only knows I have eaten so many it could be tim to try. Carla
vicki archer said…
My favourite desert of all time Lala, xv.
kendalee said…
One of my favourites, and I'm afraid I break the rule and enjoy it with cream - clearly not a purist! ;)
Mélanie said…
Cette tarte a l'air délicieuse ! je crois que tu es la reine de la tarte tatin !!
eda said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christina said…
i like to believe the story about the tarte being dropped. : ) i love that!
Anonymous said…
A tarte tatin gleaming in the display window of a boulangerie is such a beautiful sight. Thank you for the story of how it all started. I love that!
I love the tarte tatina..!!!!! thank you for the story..!!

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