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Tart Tatin

The history of Tart Tatin

Slices of irresistible caramelized apple with buttery biscuit and creamy vanilla ganache.

Tarte Tatin is a delicious French dessert known for its caramelized flavor and unique upside-down cooking method. Its history dates back to the late 19th century at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, where it was run by the Tatin sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline. According to legend, Stéphanie made a mistake while preparing a traditional apple tart, forgetting to put the pastry on the bottom of the pan before adding the apples and caramelizing them.

To salvage the dessert, Stéphanie decided to place the pastry on top of the caramelized apples and then bake the tart. When the dish was turned upside down, they discovered that the apples were tender and caramelized, while the pastry had acquired a delicious flavor from absorbing the apple juices. The hotel's patrons were delighted with this culinary creation, and the Tarte Tatin quickly gained popularity among diners.

The success of the Tarte Tatin spread beyond the Hotel Tatin, becoming a classic of French cuisine. The original recipe has been passed down and adapted over the years, always preserving the essence of caramelized apples and the crispy pastry on top. While the most common variant is the apple tart, versions with other fruits, such as pears or plums, have also been created.

Tart Tatin

Tarte Tatin is known for its rustic presentation and comforting flavor. To prepare it, firm apples that won't break down during cooking and are suitable for caramelizing are usually used. The caramel is made by melting sugar and butter in the pan and mixing it with the apples before covering them with the pastry.

While the original recipe has the pastry on top of the apples, there are also versions where the pastry is placed underneath and then inverted when serving. Tarte Tatin is served warm and can be accompanied by ice cream, whipped cream, or custard, adding a creamy and delightful contrast to the sweetness of the caramelized apples.

Tarte Tatin has transcended French borders and has become a cherished dessert worldwide. Its history, flavor, and unique cooking technique have made it a timeless delight, remaining a classic in international pastry and a symbol of French culinary tradition.