October 21st, 2006

Tarte Tatin (with recipe)

tart_tatin
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Hello! Well here it is, my first blog entry. I have been wanting to do a blog for sometime now, so right now I am slightly giddy with happiness. I have been running my chocolates & cakes stall for exactly a year. So much has happened within just this one year, so many interesting people I met, so much knowledge I gained. I hope to write down those types of things in this online diary.

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For the readers who don’t know me, a little introduction: I am a market stall trader at Broadway Market. I am there pretty much every Saturday 9am til 4pm or until whenever I finish selling off all my items! (Come visit me!) Broadway Market is an outdoor street market with a good vibe, very London, with about 60 stalls mostly selling tasty food, & some excellent stalls selling clothing/ bags/ objects/ all sorts. I think it is the best market around in London (ofcourse I’d say that!).
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Tarte Tatin is currently my favourite tart that I have on my stall & it feels right to be the first to feature.

It is an up-side down carameralized apple tart. Wonderfully rustic, classic French tart. It is cooked for about an hour & the apples are so soft (softer than ice cream) & squishy it just melts on your mouth.

There are several versions to the history of Tarte Tatin. The one I like is this: Stéphanie Tatin, one of the two Tatin sisters from the small rural town in the Loire Valley in France, overworked & a bit ditzy, baked an apple pie up-side down by mistake but served it at their hotel anyway! I love that there is a story behind it. I also like the way the French people apparently named it ‘tarte des demoiselles Tatin‘ (the tart of two unmarried women named Tatin).

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It is made with just four or five simple ingredients; apples (approximately a whopping two kilograms of!), sugar, butter, puff pastry, & an optional vanilla pod. It is simple enough to make too – just caramelize the sugar & butter, align the halved apples & cook on the hob for a while. Then place puff pastry sheet over it & bake in the oven! When cooled, flip over & hey presto, you’ve got a Tarte Tatin!

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Apparently this tart can easily be made with other types of fruit – pears, peaches, prunes, quince… any fruit experimentation valid. Which makes me think maybe I should try a mixed fruit version like a four-seasons pizza! That sounds fun & could look colourful, no?
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I was in a minor dilemma about wether I should share my stall recipes online, customers might stop buying my stuff & start making it themselves! But I realize that, afterall, most of the recipes I use are not exactly my own anyway, it’s a mishmash from all sorts of sources, or slightly adapted. So how can I hog it to myself? Besides, if someone trusts my recipes as much as wanting to try it themself, then it is an honour.
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Tarte Tatin Recipe:

You will need the following sorted & measured before starting…, & always read the whole recipe first so that there are no surprises while baking.

  • 20cm diameter solid pan (a pan that is not loose-bottomed)
  • 80g of butter, roughly cubed
  • 160g of sugar (granulated or castor)
  • Approximately 2kg of apples, peeled, cored & halved (it’s worth experimenting with different varieties. From my experience Braeburn is better & less mushier than Cox. I’m yet to try Granny Smith)
  • 250g of puff pastry (store bought does a fine job. Wouldn’t bother making it from scratch, too much hard work! Note: Supermarkets sell in 500g, so its best to clingfilm the rest & freeze it until next time)
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways & de-seeded (the best way to do this is to first use the back of the knife, press & run it down the pod & then cut. This way the pod is flat & easier to cut)
  • Roasting tray that will fit the pan
  • Foil

1. Melt the butter in the pan over the hob.
2. Soon as it has melted, put the sugar & the vanilla seeds in. Let the sugar dissolve.
3. Place the de-seeded vanilla pod skin in the middle of the pan.

4. Tightly align the prepared apples, first from the outside (don’t worry, there should be plenty of apples left to stuff in to the gaps at a later stage).
5. Cook on medium-high heat. The liquid should start to look carameralized & brown. Plenty of juice from the apples are now coming out & mixing with the caramel & is bubbling away. Here, be careful with your heat-control & adjust so that the juices don’t spill out. If the pan you are using has low sides, the sticky juice will spill out & make a right old mess on your cooker. (which, if it does, then it is best to wipe clean soon as you are finished – don’t wait til it hardens. It’s a back-killer to clean)
6. After a while, you’ll notice that there are spaces to shove more apples in. Now is the time to place as much apples as you can (but don’t be tempted to cut your halves in to smaller slices to fill it – it will make the final tart look like one big mass of squashed guu. You want rustic, thrown together look, & the apple shapes still intact). Now switch the hob off. Start to pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
7. Roll out the puff pastry so that the sheet is bigger than the pan. It does not need to be a neat circle. Place on top of the apples. Use your fork (in my case a cooking chopstick) & tuck in the ends inbetween the apple & the pan sides. Note that this tucking-in bit is very important – because if you don’t tuck, the pastry will shrink when baked & be smaller than the pan, & will not be big enough base for the apples once the tart is flipped over.

8. Pierce some breathing holes on your pastry so that hot air can escape.

9. Get any high-sided tray, like a roasting tray & line it with foil. Place the pan in it (the roasting tray is a must-have to collect the pool of more sticky caramel liquid that oozes out while the tart is in the oven – otherwise you’ll have the oven to scrub).
10. Pop it in to the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes.

11. Once done, cool it in the room as is. Once cooled, place on the top shelf of your refrierator (top-shelf because health & safety-wise any food that is to be eaten as is should be on a shelf above anything that is raw like meat, so that there is no risk of raw meat juice leaking on to your tarte). Preferably leave it there for half a day to set the shape.
12. When ready to serve, first, look at the pastry. Is it stuck to the sides of the pan? Use clean fingers to nudge it free. Now get your cake stand. Place the cake stand upside down on to your pan. Using slow & good maneuvering skills, tightly hold both stand & pan together, & flip it over. Drum-rolls. Slowly remove the pan mold. Hey presto! There should be a wonderfully formed tart in front of your eyes!

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How to make Tarte Tatin in pictures

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So anyway, I hope this first ever entry goes down well & thank you for enduring my bad writing… Please leave comments if you like to. – I’m so tempted to write more but, I now plan to have dinner with my family, & then once my kid goes up the wooden steps to bedforshire (as D likes to say!) I plan to watch the Da Vinci Code DVD we bought from Tesco with everyone, merry with a bit of sake. I know I’d probably fall asleep on the sofa half way through…

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I’m thinking of uploading an entry at a once-a-week rate, so please come back around the same time next week!
t xx

41 Comments »

  1. Congratulations on your new blog! Very nice, very you. Looking forward to following this.
    Tarte Tatin.. 美味しそう!Will have to try this soon!

    Comment by Dirk - October 22, 2006 12:20 pm

  2. It’s a very sweet blog! Congratulations!
    Tarte Tatin looks good, and I also want to try a four-seasons tart :-9

    Comment by jun - October 23, 2006 2:59 am

  3. Welcome to the blogosphere! Your tart looks lovely I have to say… I’d like to experiment with different apple types on this.

    Comment by Richard Leader - October 23, 2006 5:02 pm

  4. Congrats on the blog! It looks great! I just want to say, your tarte tatin was sooo gorgeous…. it really was “melt in the mouth” as you say! Looking forward to future entries! Keiko xx

    Comment by keiko - October 23, 2006 5:42 pm

  5. - Dirk, your support mean so much to me… Thank you.
    - And thanks Jun, I just hope that my blog is just as long lasting & interesting as yours! I’ll post the four-seasons tatin one day!
    - Thanks Richard! I just looked at your blog & I like it! It’s now in my check-list!
    - Ta Keiko! Come to the market again! Me, chocolates & cakes await you…

    Comment by Tamami - October 23, 2006 8:50 pm

  6. Welcome to blogging Tamami. Your Tarte Tatin looks lovely. I’m currently reading the book by Susan Loomis called Tarte Tatin!

    Comment by barbara - October 23, 2006 9:12 pm

  7. Barbara, thanks for the book tip! I love novels with food theme, & the synopsis on Amazon reads well. I’ll just might have to check this one out!

    Comment by tamami - October 23, 2006 9:27 pm

  8. Hi Tamami, just found your blog through C&Z and I’m already looking forward to some wonderful cake recipes if your tarte tatin is anything to go by.
    I shall have to visit your stall next time I visit my brother as he lives just around the corner from Broadway. In fact he spends every Saturday morning doing his food shop at the market. I have to agree with you that it is indeed a wonderful market, I was so jeleous when he took me to wonder around one Saturday as we have nothing like it up here in York.

    Comment by Kate - October 24, 2006 11:22 am

  9. Hi Kate! Do come visit my stall! And be sure to let me know who you are! I’d love to see you! I followed your link, and gosh you have a woderful allotment!

    Comment by Tamami - October 24, 2006 2:46 pm

  10. Konnichiwa Tamami-san,
    Welcome to the blogging world! I look forward to reading more of your entries and also, if you want to share, about how a Japanese woman ended up at a London market selling cakes and chocolates!
    Mata raishû,
    Clotilde.

    Comment by clotilde - October 24, 2006 10:35 pm

  11. Lovely site! Am salivating at the thought of all your yummy cakes…am sorry i cant experience them but im confident that they’re sublime.
    Congrats dear Tam
    XXX

    Comment by Layla - October 24, 2006 10:47 pm

  12. Thank you Clotilde! I probably ended up as a stall holder after… first craving for chocolate & refined sugar (!) during my pregnancy…, & then the Passion for making them had to have some sort of outlet… Having a Saturday-only stall made absolute sense, as I can then still look after my toddler most of the week! – By the way, I love your blog! De wa mata raishu ne!

    And dearest Layla, I hope the NY is giving you a fruitful time. Keep Warm!

    Comment by Tamami - October 24, 2006 11:53 pm

  13. Your blog is lovely. I really like the graphic style.

    Comment by susie - October 25, 2006 3:57 pm

  14. Mmmmmm tarte tatin…. an art in itself! well done looks excellent! :)
    Warm with creme fresh…arrrrr (oO)

    Comment by Nicotine - October 25, 2006 5:47 pm

  15. Thanks Susie & Nicotine!! Please do come back later in the week (the next post is probably on Sunday) to read more! :)

    Comment by Tamami - October 25, 2006 10:50 pm

  16. Hi Tamami-chan!
    I’m enjoying looking at your site here in Tokyo. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I can’t wait to try it myself and better still visit your stall next time I’m in England. It’s great that you have found the perfect outlet for all your amazing talent.
    Love from your old friend, Akiko

    Comment by Akiko - October 27, 2006 2:08 pm

  17. Hello Aki-chan! Soo happy that you’ve also left a comment! How is your new home? Bet you’ve done it up nice. And yeah, make sure you visit the market next Summer when you come! t xxx

    Comment by tamami - October 27, 2006 11:51 pm

  18. Great blog look forward to new entries.

    Comment by Lusks - November 2, 2006 8:39 am

  19. Thanks Lusks! It’s all early days & I’m sure there’d be teething problems, but please do keep with it!

    Comment by Tamami - November 2, 2006 11:35 am

  20. Hello Cocoandme – you have my full admiration and envy! I too am a chocolate maker and have a cake making friend and we spend all our time planning to ‘just do it!’ We live to far apart just at the moment, but one day…
    Your blog is beautiful to read and lovely to look at – your chocs look wonderful. I work full time otherwise I would be a fellow stall holder – albeit far enough away not to be competition!
    All the best
    Annie

    Comment by annie - November 19, 2006 3:16 pm

  21. Thank you Annie, I too was thinking ‘one day…’ for a long time before this. “Just do it” (Nike’s got a great tagline huh?) & the feeling of ‘time is escaping and is too precious’ was eventually the deciding factor, & ever since the ball started to roll it has been the best & fulfilling experience. Hope you & your friend all the best in your plan! Txx

    Comment by tamami - November 19, 2006 6:28 pm

  22. Nice!Nice!Tarte Tatin looks good~~

    Comment by wow powerleveling - June 9, 2007 3:42 am

  23. ;-)

    Comment by tamami - June 9, 2007 10:18 pm

  24. hi,
    i found your blog fascinating and am leaving a comment on your first post to let you know that i will start reading it from HERE and will read THRU the whole thing !that’s how much i liked it, maybe coz that is what i wanted to do too and always wanted to open up my own place and sell my stuff, anyways you have a STELLAR BLOG, keep it up!

    Comment by bindiya - January 20, 2009 5:30 pm

  25. Hello Bindiya!
    Wow, you’re gonna read my blog from the beginning?? That is such a compliment, thank you!

    Comment by tamami - January 20, 2009 9:31 pm

  26. Hi

    I really enjoy reading your blog! it’s kind of inspired me to start up my own. Could you tell me what tool you use for your blog? and can you recommend a host? Thanks so much x

    Comment by Lexi - March 18, 2009 3:36 pm

  27. Hello Lexi! I use wordpress & dreamhost. Wether I recommend it or not is another matter – as I don’t know any other, so I have no basis for comparison!! Good luck with your blog, & do let me know when it’s up!!

    Comment by tamami - March 18, 2009 10:29 pm

  28. Hi Tamami,
    Your clear instructions AND your GREAT process pictures really inspired me to try make the tarte tatin and it’s now baking in the oven! I wasn’t sure how long to cook the apples on the hob but I had your blog and this entry on my computer the whole time and after reading for the fifth time, I realized that it was not for too long and then common sense kicked in and I moved on and now the tarte is in the oven! Yeah! Thanks a whole bunch! I had a great time of discovery and now look forward to tasting my attempt on your very comprehensible recipe!

    Comment by Su Su - June 30, 2009 4:29 pm

  29. hi Su Su. I hope it turned out well… !!!

    Comment by tamami - June 30, 2009 5:37 pm

  30. Hello

    I really love your website and your cakes look fantastic! (e.g the pear in red wine that you have shaped as a rose – very artistic!)

    I have a very dear friend that I need to get an urgent present to and I wonder could you help me… I would love to order a flourless chocolate cake and 10 chocolate brownies for him today, if it were possible to have these delivered to Greenwich (SE3) tomorrow, Saturday 26th. I could pay you 15GBp or delivery for a courier, or something in that price region. Do you think that might be possible?

    If you could give me your phone number I can ring you to discuss it. I live in Ireland, so I can’t collect the items, I’m afraid!

    Best wishes
    Dervila Cooke

    Comment by Dervila Cooke - September 25, 2009 9:23 am

  31. Hi!!! I just sent you an email!! xx

    Comment by tamami - September 25, 2009 12:46 pm

  32. Hi Tamami,
    first of all-wow great recipes-can’t wait to try them all . I just read about you in Slovenian magazin “Ona” (it means “she” in our language) and I had to check out your blog. I will definatley try to come by your stand next time I’m in London. Thanx for sharing
    Tina

    Comment by Tina - March 4, 2010 9:34 am

  33. Hi Tina!!!
    Wowww! Thank you for letting me know that I was mentioned in a Slovenian magazine!! Do they have a website? I’d love to know…!!

    Comment by tamami - March 5, 2010 1:27 am

  34. fantastic! love it! you should write a recipe book full of lovely photographs!

    Comment by nina lightfoot - June 17, 2011 9:59 am

  35. Nina lightfoot, thank you!!! xx

    Comment by tamami - June 17, 2011 3:18 pm

  36. Tamami- the trick to getting caramel off the cooker is to leave a damp cloth or sponge on it for 20 or so minutes (depends how big a bit of caramel!)…this will dissolve the sugar and BAM you can wipe it away no problems. I discovered this making creme caramel and it has *transformed* my cooking life!

    Comment by helen - December 31, 2011 2:25 pm

  37. Helen! Thank you for the tip! xx

    Comment by Tamami - December 31, 2011 8:37 pm

  38. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

    Comment by Ad - May 13, 2013 9:00 am

  39. Thank you Ad!! All the best!!

    Comment by tamami - May 13, 2013 10:05 am

  40. [...] http://www.cocoandme.com/2006/10/21/tarte-tatin/ [...]

    Pingback by Tart des Tatin | Hot Pan Behind You! - January 30, 2014 1:34 pm

  41. Many thanks for the link back to this page! :)

    Comment by tamami - February 25, 2014 6:20 pm

 

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