A tart that is eaten right-side up, but cooked upside down, decorated with delicious caramelised apples, the Tarte Tatin is one of the favourite desserts of the French. It is quite simple, but tasty, especially if it is accompanied by a smooth cream. But do you know the real origin of this pastry?
Tarte Tatin: what is its myth?
According to legend, the invention of the Tarte Tatin was a pure accident. One of the Tatin sisters forgot to add the pastry for her apple tart. So she put it on top during the baking process. However, other legends say that Stéphanie Tatin served it upside down, after spilling it out of the oven. Larousse Gastronomique claims that this is just a legend. The Tatin sisters did democratise the tarte Tatin in their restaurant towards the end of the 19th century. The tart was probably not the result of a mistake or an accident. The Tatin sisters were not airheads or clumsy, but true managers of a renowned establishment.
But what is the real history of the tarte Tatin?
The upside down apple tart, commonly known as Tarte Tatin, was inspired by the Solognote recipe with pears or apples. This dessert has existed for a long time and the recipe has been passed down from mother to daughter. The Tatin sisters popularised it by serving it to their guests in their hotel-restaurant. The Maxim’s restaurant in Paris adopted it and made it its speciality. According to the story, the Maxim’s chef spied on the Tatin sisters in order to steal the recipe. Of course, here again the balance between truth and legend remains unclear. It was the gastronomic critic Maurice Curnonsky who evoked the legend of the Tatin sisters. He wanted to create a buzz about the new recipe.
What is the original recipe for Tarte Tatin
According to tradition, the use of a copper mould is recommended to make the Tarte Tatin. It is filled with butter and a layer of granulated sugar. Then, firm apples cut into beautiful wedges are placed on top, sprinkled with sugar. The whole thing is covered with shortcrust pastry. The tart is baked in a hot oven. The dessert is eaten hot. The Tarte Tatin recipe has been revisited several times. Almost all the world’s great pastry chefs have added their touch to make the recipe even more delicious.