Friday, July 20, 2012

Tarte Tatin - The Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin, the Tart made by the Tatin Sisters. Tarte-Tatin on French Menus.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan Newman
  Updated April 2019
A Real Tarte Tatin.
Photograph courtesy of California Bakery.
Yes, there is an original Tarte Tatin; so please do not call it just another upside-down caramelized apple pie.   If you do so, the French may have reason to bring back the guillotine, especially for you!  In France, a genuine Tarte Tatin is part of the national heritage.
The original recipe for the real Tarte Tatin.

This is not a blog on cooking; however, if you, unlike me, are into pastry cooking and want the original recipe click on the following link or copy and paste it in your browser:, the recipe comes from the official site for those who love Tarte Tatin.
The Hotel Tatin in 1921-1922.

The first Tarte Tatin was served in 1898.
While the original Tarte Tatin may not have been the first upside-down caramelized apple pie in history,  it does claim that spot. The recipe and creation of the original Tart Tatin are a cherished part of France’s culinary history. Chefs with tradition in mind may note it on the menu as La Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin, the tart of the Tatin sisters; the year of its creation was 1898. Over one hundred years later the original Tarte Tatin, as well as copies made with other fruits, are on menus all over the world.
The Hotel Tatin Today.
The town of Lamotte-Beuvron where it all began.
If you like food and food history in its original settings, then consider visiting the small town of Lamotte-Beuvron. Lamotte-Beuvron is less than two hours from Paris, and here you will find the original Hotel Tatin and its restaurant. Here and at other restaurants in Lamotte-Beuvron, they only serve authentic versions of the original Tarte Tatin.  As always, in France, call ahead to check any restaurant’s opening hours, and also the day or days when they are closed. The town of Lamotte-Beuvron is in the department of Loir-et-Cher in the Centre, the Val de Loire, two hours from Paris, by train or car, 165 km. (100 miles). The telephone number of the Hotel Tatin and its restaurant is 02-5466-0003 from inside France.
A Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin
The history of the Tarte Tatin.

The two sisters who created this first upside down apple pie the Tarte Tatin were Stéphanie Tatin (1838-1917) and Caroline Tatin (1847-1911). According to tradition, it was Stéphanie Tatin who accidentally placed her apple tart in the oven upside down. Despite that seemingly unsolvable problem, Stéphanie Tatin, like any great chef when faced with disaster knew the show must go on.  Stéphanie carried on and served the pie as a new creation.  The guests loved the new recipe, and Stéphanie Tatin had found a place for herself and her sister, and the Tarte Tatin, in the history of French cuisine.
A Tart Tatin with shortcrust pastry
Guarding the original recipe for Tarte Tatin.

The original recipe is protected by its own brotherhood and sisterhood:  La Confrérie de Lichonneux de Tarte Tatin.  This confrérie has lectures, street processions and competitions, all while dressed up in, would be, traditional costumes. The costumes include floppy hats and cloaks, and the members of this confrérie award one another medals, other honors, and swear to protect the original recipe against all comers. Do not mess with the recipe of the Tarte Tatin or this confrérie will be on your case, you have been warned. Once a year together with new members they have an excellent dinner with a Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin as the only dessert.
A Pear Tatin.
Photograph by courtesy of meknits
Tarte-Tatin has become a brand, and away from the town of Lamotte-Beuvron, are offerings such as a Tarte-Tatin aux poires, pears, and a Tarte-Tatin à l'Ananas, pineapple, and many more. Most, no doubt, are excellent. However, just by writing about them  I am the probably making the Tatin sisters turn in their graves.

Bryan G. Newman
Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2014, 2019
For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman
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