Both simpler and more impressive than apple pie, Tarte Tatin was developed in the 1880s by the Tatin sisters of Lamotte-Beuvron, just south of Orléans. Use a mix of apples, or try it with an equal amount of pears.
- 6 baking apples, like Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Gala and Jonagold, peeled, quartered and cored
- 8 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pâte brisée (pie dough), unbaked
- Whipped cream or créme fraîche, for serving
In large bowl, sprinkle apples with 2 tablespoons sugar. Toss to coat. Let sit for at least 1 hour, draining accumulated liquid. In 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, melt butter and remaining sugar, swirling gently to evenly coat pan (don’t stir). Add apples in tight concentric circles, balancing on their edges. Fit as snugly as possible (reserve 1–2 quarters to cut into smaller chunks to fill gaps). Let cook, without stirring, until juices thicken, darken and smell “caramelly” without smelling burnt, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Roll dough into circle about 12 inches in diameter. Drape over apples, folding and tucking around edges to fully contain apples. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Place serving plate atop tart. Carefully turn over pan to release tart onto plate (if any apples stick, rearrange by hand). Serve warm, or at room temperature with whipped cream or créme fraîche. Serves 8.
Loire Valley sweet wines are the product of misty mornings and sunny autumn afternoons, which produce noble rot. They have just the right balance of sweetness, dry noble rot character and intense acidity. While they do age, it’s hard to resist the delicious fruit of a young wine.
Pairing this tarte tatin with a selection like Domaine des Baumard’s 2011 Clos de Sainte Catherine from Coteaux du Layon is an exercise in food-and-wine harmony, where each mirrors the flavors of the other while displaying simultaneous richness and freshness.