Stéphanie Tatin’s inadvertent “mistake” in cooking an apple pie up-side-down has become a part of culinary history.
Back in the late 1800’s in France’s Loire Valley, two sisters took over the duties of running L’Hotel Tatin after the death of their father. Caroline managed the business side of the hotel and her older sister Stéphanie ran the kitchens. While she was an accomplished cook, Stéphanie also had a reputation for being a bit scatterbrained.
Her apple tart was already very popular with the local hunters. Legend has it that on this particular day, she cooked her apples as usual, in sugar and butter but something went wrong. It is unclear whether she was distracted and cooked the apples so long that they became deeply caramelized, or that she just forgot to line her pan with pastry dough.
Without time to start over, Stéphanie placed a sheet of pastry on top of the darkened apples and put the pan in the oven. To make it appear like her everyday tart, once cooked, she inverted it onto a platter and served it hot. The guests loved the light flaky crust and the deeply caramelized apples. It was an instant hit and went on to become the hotel’s signature dish.
Years later, her tart made it onto the menu of the famous Parisian restaurant Maxim’s where it was called La Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin (the tart of two unmarried women named Tatin). Eventually Stéphanie’s recipe of just four components – apples, sugar, butter, pastry dough – baked in an unconventional manner, became world-famous.
Fall Fest is a season long franchise where Food Network editors team up with bloggers to share recipes about everyone’s favorite Autumn fruits and vegetables. Be sure to check out the Pinterest Board with over 100,000 followers called Let’s Pull Up A Chair! And if this apple tarte tatin got you in the mood for apples, you might enjoy taking a peek at other apple-centric recipes from some fabulous bloggers below…
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Napa Farmhouse 1885: Applesauce with Maple and Cinnamon
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The Sensitive Epicure: Toaster Oven Cinnamon Apple and Walnut Muffins with Almond Flour and Maple Syrup
And Love It Too: Apple Pie Cookies
Taste With The Eyes: The Culinary Legend of Apple Tarte Tatin
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