Tarte Tatin is a very popular French apple pie with caramelized apples. It is believed that this recipe dates back to the 19th century, originating in a small village in Sologne, central France. Two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin, ran a small restaurant there. On a busy Sunday, Stéphanie, somewhat scatterbrained, first placed the apple slices in the cake tin. When she noticed that she had completely forgotten the dough, she simply decided to cover the apples with the dough instead of the other way round. The cake was well received by the guests. Like many great things in life, the delicious caramel Tarte Tatin was created by accident. Through Louis Vaudable, the recipe found its way to Paris. Monsieur Vaudable himself was a guest of the sisters and was enthusiastic about the somewhat different apple pie that he put on the menu of Maxim's, his famous restaurant in Paris.
As with all traditional and well-known recipes, there are many variations, some swear by shortcrust pastry, some swear by puff pastry. This particular one requires a vegan puff pastry. If you need to cut a few corners for spontaneous visits, the puff pastry come be bought ready-made at your local (organic) shop (like at Whole Foods). Here we go!
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
Let's start with the dough, because it has to be put in the freezer for at least an hour once it is kneaded. Put the flour on the worktop and make a hole in the middle. Gradually add the water, the melted margarine and then the salt. Form everything into a ball without kneading the dough too vigorously. Roll out with a rolling pin to form a rectangle, spread it with the soft margarine and sprinkle it with the cornstarch. Fold the right and then the left side of the rectangle inwards to form three layers. Press the ends together with the rolling pin and carefully roll out the dough again, the layers should remain intact! Then spread the margarine again, sprinkle with cornstarch and fold the short ends inwards. Repeat the process one last time and fold the dough once in the middle. Leave the dough in cling film in the freezer for at least one hour. If you prepare the dough the day before, remember to put it out for thawing about 10 minutes before baking to avoid it breaking!
You can do the apples while the dough is resting: peel, core, and quarter them. Halve the quarters in width. Apples that do not disintegrate during baking, such as the Boskoop variety, are suitable for a successful tarte tatin!
For the caramel, put the sugar in a pan and add 50ml of water. Bring to boil without stirring until the sugar caramelises and takes on a light brown colour. Then remove from the hob and pour into the cake tin. Tartes are traditionally baked in round moulds, but for practical reasons the puff pastry also has a square shape!
On the caramel, place the apple slices close together on their outer side, sprinkle with cinnamon and spread some small knobs of margarine between the apples.
Carefully roll out the dough and lay it on top of the apples.
Bake the tart at 180° for 30 to 45 minutes and then turn over. All the moisture should evaporate during baking, if the cake tin allows it, you can also place it on the stove.
Best served lukewarm with a dash of coconut cream or lupine ice cream!
Have fun trying it out and bon appétit!