The Culinary Legend of Apple Tarte Tatin
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…
The Lemon Bowl: Whole Grain Pancakes with Warm Apple Topping
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Homemade Apple Breakfast Bars
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Almost Crusted Cinnamon Apple Grilled Cheese
Dishing With Divya: Fresh Apple Salsa
Virtually Homemade: Potato Apple Gratin
Weelicious: Apple Almond Cake
Dishin & Dishes: Kale Waldorf Salad (A Healthy Recipe Redo)
Domesticate Me: Apple Cinnamon Baked Doughnut Holes
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Applesauce with Maple and Cinnamon
Red or Green: Apple and Green Chile Crustless Pie
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
The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
FN Dish: Early Morning Apple Recipes
9 thoughts on “The Culinary Legend of Apple Tarte Tatin”
I enjoyed reading the legend behind this dish and now I am definitely in the mood for a sweet apple treat. This is really gorgeous, LL!
Bonjour! And welcome to Fall! There is nothing that says Fall like apple desserts. And why not say it with a French accent? There are many happy accidents in the world of food and drink. From Screpelle m’busse, to Puff Pastry right up to the Negroni sbagliato, things just seem to work out alright where food is involved. And it would appear that your Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin is no exception. It is absolutely glorious. Your apples are beautifully caramelized, and the “TF” -(tantalizing factor) is +10 on a scale of 1 to 10. I say, “Yes, please” to this!
this look delicious!!!!
miammm !!! “la tarte tatin” reminds me of my childhood and the wonderful smell in our house almost every sunday morning… Thank you for sharing this….
Hi Celine- nice to hear from you. I can only imagine the exquisite aromas coming from your French kitchen…