Thursday, 21 July 2011

French Baking Month: le Grande Finale: Magnifique Tarte Tatin


Or should I say Au Revoir?

For this recipe is la finale recipe from (the slightly interrupted) French Baking Month.

And for la grande finale there was only ever one recipe in contention.

A more French dessert can not possibly exist. Its the foodie equivalent of Nicolas Sarkozy, the Eiffel Tower, Asterix, Le Bonne Maman and Amelie stuck in a lift all together. 

It is if course, le Tarte Tatin 

Can I tell you a story about it?

(I'll take the silence as a resounding yes).

Legend has it that le Tarte Tain was created by two spinsters, who, having sadly never experienced the romance, affection or love of a man, poured all their passion into creating this sensuous and gratifying dish.

And who said romance was dead?

In any case, I too lust after this tarte.

As for the recipe, well, there is only one chef capable of a recipe that has such expectation and responsibility heaped upon it. 

If HRH Saint Delia is the Priestess of British cooking, this man is the Sovereign King of French cuisine.

Not only does he hold two michelin stars at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, he is a best selling cook book author and (my favourite bit) his greatest inspiration is the formidable Maman Blanc. 

It is, of course, Raymond Blanc.

Maman Blanc and the Honourable Raymond made their version just like this.

I've made it word for word, ingredient for ingredient. Who am I to tinker with perfection?

Tarte Tatin
(Raymond Blanc) 


200g puff pastry (rolled to a thickness of 3mm/⅛in, cut very slightly larger than the diameter of the tarte tin, pricked with a fork and frozen)
8 large dessert apples
50g unsalted butter, diced
1 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsps water

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
2. Cut the apples in half horizontally, remove the cores and slice off the rounded tops and bottoms of the apples  
3. Put the water in the bottom of a saucepan and sprinkle over the sugar. Let it sit for two minutes to allow the water to absorb the sugar
4. On a medium heat, cook the syrup until it turns to a pale blonde caramel (do not let it become too dark or the flavour will overpower the apples), then stir in the diced butter. Pour into the tarte dish to firm 
5. Arrange the apples, middles uppermost, around the edge of the tin and then fill in the centre with the remaining apples. It is important to pack them as tightly as possible – press them down with your hands as you go
6. Place the tin on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes
7. Remove from the oven and place the disc of pastry on the top. Tuck the edges of the pastry into the dish and prick a few holes with a sharp knife to let the steam out as the dish cooks.
8. Return to the oven for a further 40-45 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden-brown
9. Allow to cool at room temperature for one hour before turning out of the tin and serving warm. 

Baker's notes...
  • I kinda ran out of apples. As you may have deduced, apples are a key element of this dish. Hence why my Tarte looks a little flat
  • While over in France I bought myself a genuine-Made-in-France tarte tatin dish, to add even more French-ness to the recipe. And also because I like shopping for kitchen items
  • Serve with some cream, creme fraiche or ice cream 
  • Bon appetit!

Hope you've enjoyed French Baking Month on Kate's Cakes and Bakes, Au Revoir! 


  1. There is only 5 ingredients, something so magnificent with so few basic ingredients

  2. Gosh I do love tarte tatin, (note to self - bake one soon!). Thanks Kate for a wonderful series of French baking. Very inspiring:-). Jude x

  3. I agree with 'A Trifle Rushed' Kate. I love tarte tatin but always forget about making them until I see or read about a TV chef or blog friend making one...Yours looks lovely...

  4. Looks delicious. I've never made a tarte tatin, but keep meaning to - thanks for the reminder!

  5. Looks great Kate and I DO love a good Tarte Tatin! My apples are nearly ready to pick and that will be on the menu soon! Looks lovey as does the rest of your blog!
    Karen ~ Lavender and Lovage


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