March 28th, 2010

Tarte Tatin

I’m still alive. Life sure gets in the way of the fun stuff. (Read: I’m lazy)

I made Tarte Tatin as a dessert to Valentine’s Day dinner. We don’t make a big fuss about Valentine’s because if you need a special day to make someone feel loved, then you’re probably doing it wrong. It was just another day for us, but we made it an excuse to cook a special dinner. Around our house, that’s what most holidays/sports events/birthdays/weekends come down to: a reason to make ungodly amounts of food.

A lot of food blogs and magazines advocate chocolate anything for Valentine’s Day but Boyfriend is not a big chocolate-eater so I wanted to make something else. I made this tart because he loves apple pie, and because I’ve had an ongoing mission to create a really good one. I’ve tried to make apple pie maybe 4 or 5 times now, and of those, only the first one has ever come out right. It’s a little frustrating, as you can imagine, after all that godforsaken peeling and coring and slicing and dough-rolling, to bite into a mediocre pie. I will admit that my shortfall has always been the dough. I have no patience with it, you see. I helped (mostly watched) my sister make pie dough once and it seemed like an unreasonable amount of work. And the mess! Flour everywhere! So for all of my pies I have always used store-bought crusts.

Please put away the pitchforks. I know it was wrong. I bow my head in shame.

But for this tart, I decided to conquer my doughy fears and go for it. And you know what? It wasn’t all that hard. But it was still kinda messy, I’m not gonna lie.

This tarte hails from Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, where it was invented by (happy) accident by the Tatin sisters. According to legend, Stephanie Tatin was trying to make a regular old pie when she realized she had overcooked the apples so she tried to salvage it by slapping pastry dough on top of it and sticking it into the oven. The result was a caramelized, heavenly dessert, and the rest is history.

Tarte Tatin, from Smitten Kitchen

When it came time to flip the tart out of the pan, I had to wheedle Boyfriend into helping me because that cast iron sucker is heavy. But truly, it was divine. Caramely and full of apple goodness, and the crust was just the right kind of flaky. The Granny Smiths tend to be quite tart (no pun intended) but the tartness mellows out after a day. And yes, it is still quite delicious after a day (store at room temperature for 3 days max). Of course you can just cut that tartness with some ice cream or whipped cream but if you want to experiment with other apples, I’ve heard Golden Delicious, Gala or Macintosh turn out great also.

So try this if you want to take a new spin to apple pie. It’s easy and it has a froo froo French name, so of course it will impress.

Posted under Baking, Dessert

One Response to “Tarte Tatin”

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