Monday, November 10, 2008

Tarte Tatin: Official Authorized Recipe And History

The Tarte Tatin is a classic French upside down Apple Tart recipe created at the Hotel Tatin in 1889 in Lamotte-Beuvron in the Loire Valley. The demoiselles Stephanie and Caroline Tatin inherited the hotel-restaurant from their father, Jean (John). Tradition says the hotel which is located across from the train station was very popular with hunters, and having a restaurant full of hungry and demanding men, Stephanie hurried to prepare dessert. Whether it was a mistake or a shortcut, no one really knows, but Stephanie placed the pie crust over the apples and created gastronomic history with a tart which became so requested and so famous that it was given the family name, and it is said that the owner of the Paris restaurant Maxim's even sent spies to discover the secret recipe.

So many variations and false recipes were taking the name of the "Tarte Tatin" that the hometown's people created a brotherhood to preserve the official recipe and history. Each Fall they celebrate this culinary delight with a festival and they are in full swing preparing for the 120th anniversary in 2009.

Here is the translation of the official authorized recipe for "La tarte Tatin" from the Brotherhood of the Tarte Tatin.

Tarte des Demoiselles Tatins


- 125 g (about 4.5 oz.) of good quality butter
- 150 g (about 5.3 oz.) granulated sugar
- 1,5 kg (about 3 lbs.) apples (ideally "reines des reinettes," or Golden Delicious or "reinettes grises from Canada")
- 1 thin pâte brisée (short paste) slightly larger than the diameter of the pie pan.

- 1 pie pan with relatively high sides and 24 cm (9.5") in diameter.

- Butter pie pan with all the butter and sugar bottom and sides of pan.
- Peel apples, core, and cut in 2 or 3 pieces.
- Place apples in pan on their rounded side, very tightly together.
- Place on stove on high and let caramelize the three ingredients for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cover the apple with the pie dough, then place in oven for about 30 minutes at 180-190° Centigrade (350-375° F).
- Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes, then slide knife along outer edge of the pie. Unmold by placing a plate over the pie pan and quickly turning over. Serve hot or warm. Traditionally, the Tarte Tatin goes from oven to table so that it can be savored immediately.

Original French

La Tarte Tatin

- 125 g de beurre de bonne qualité
- 150 grammes de sucre semoule
- 1,5 kg de pommes (idéalement, des reines des reinettes, à défaut, des goldens ou
des reinettes grises du Canada)
- 1 mince abaisse de pâte brisée légèrement plus grande que le diamètre du moule
- 1 moule à bords relativement hauts (type "moule à manqué") de 24 cm de diam.
- Beurrer le moule avec tout le beurre, le recouvrir de sucre semoule.
- Éplucher les pommes, les épépiner et les couper en 2 ou en 3.
- Déposer ces gros quartiers sur leur partie bombée, très serrés.
- Mettre le moule sur la gazinière, à feu vif, et laisser caraméliser ces trois
ingrédients pendant 15 à 20 minutes.
- Hors du feu, recouvrir les pommes de l'abaisse de pâte puis enfourner environ 30
minutes à 180 ou à 190°.
- Laisser reposer hors du four quelques minutes, puis passer un couteau le long des
parois du moule. Démouler en recouvrant le moule d'un plat et en retournant d'un
geste vif. Servir chaude ou tiède.
Traditionnellement, la tarte Tatin se met au four en passant à table de façon à être
dégustée dès sa sortie du four.

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