Tarte Tatin for sure originated in France, and there are many stories as to HOW is originated. The common denominator to these stories are a couple of sisters called Stephane and Caroline Tatin who ran a hotel in the Loire region of France. They were by all account excellent cooks and were famous for their cakes.
One day, they made an apple cake.. but one of the sisters dropped it on the floor. Picking it up, they put the apples back in the pan, and put the pastry over the top of them and proceeded to serve the cake, hoping, to my view, somewhat optimistically, that no one would notice ! Anyway, a legend was born!''
150Gr Caster or better still light brown Sugar
30 Gr salted butter, preferably french
1 packet of ready rolled Puff Pastry
6 Apples (Braeburn are good) or Golden Delicious
Squeeze of Lemon
A couple of pinches of Cinnamon
You will need a non-stick frying pan (With METAL handles, so you can put it in the oven) or any circular metal pan which can be placed in the oven.
Place the sugar and the butter in the frying pan and on a low heat melt it.
Whilst this is happening peel the apples, and cut into quarters cutting the core away in a straight line, not in the usual V shape.
With the peeled section DOWN, arrange the apples pieces artisitically in the bottom of the frying pan, and sprinkle a little amount of sugar over the top of the apples, as well the cinnamon. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the top of the apples as well. This stops them discolouring and also adds a pleasant aroma
Continue the caremelisation process until the sugar/butter mixture is dark brown (the colour of a pair of light brown shoes and then some) but NOT burned.
Whilst this has been happening, please roll out the puff pastry to a size where it just a little bigger than the diameter of the pan you are using. Return it to the fridge to remain cool.
Once the caramelisation process is done to your satisfaction, take the pan off the heat and place the puff pastry over the top of the apples and press down so it all fits snugly into the pan. Prick the pastry all over with a fork, and "wash" with an egg mix, and then sprinkle some sugar over the top of the egg wash. This will make the base of the cake nice and crispy.
If you have any pastry left over, place a thin strip of it right around the edge of the pastry you have already placed over the apples. As the whole thing bakes, this will produce a sort of pedestal for the tarte. Looks most impressive !
Now put the whole caboosh in the oven, which has been heating up to about 220C and leave it until the pastry is cooked and it is an amazing light brown colour.
Remove the pan from the oven (P L E A S E REMEMBER TO PUT ON OVEN GLOVES FOR THIS!) and, giving any assembled guests due warning, BANG the pan down onto a wooden surface (this is done to loosen everything away from the pan so that it tips out nicely!)
Find a plate which is somewhat larger than the diameter of the frying pan and you are ready to invert the tarte onto the plate. This is when things can go horribly wrong..... like it ends of either on the ceiling or the floor ...and both !
Place the plate over the frying pan, and using 2 oven gloves, or a cloth or whatever, grip either side of the frying pan/plate assembly and, with a flourish, invert the tarte onto the plate !
If bits of apple remain in the pan, you now have a jig-saw puzzle to make, but the end result will be worth the effort !
There are a number of additions/modifications to this one can make.
My personal "Food Hero" James Martin, suggests sprinkling some Thyme leaves over the apples. I recently tried this and couldn't taste the thyme at all.
I have also sprinkled a few drops of Rosewater onto the apples. The scent is wonderful once the tarte is cooked.
The same recipe works well with various fruits, notably Pineapple, Apricots, Peaches, Pears as well as a semi-savoury version, made with Red Onions !
Tarte Tatin should ideally served hot, with some Creme Fraiche, or a nice Vanilla scented Ice Cream.
Bon Appetit Wikipedies !!