Whenever I think of Tarte Tatin, I follow the buttery smell of caramelized sugar and land straight in Strasbourg. The flour-white facades of Alsatian houses, framed by dark wooden beams like liquorices sticks. And a neon sign that doesn’t leave much room to imagination: “À la Tête de Lard” (at pig’s head). In this rustic typical restaurant, following the unmissable tarte flambée and a choucroute that challenges even the toughest gourmet, there is always a little room for a slice of Tarte Tatin. And at the sound of the little fork breaking the thin, golden caramel shell, before sinking into the soft apple layer down to the crust, you already know that this gluttony sin is absolutely worth it.
Even though being far from this little manifestation of earthly perfection, my recipe is inspired by that of the Silver Spoon. The advantage is that this version does not require to caramelize the apples by putting the tin directly over the fire, so you can make it even if you don’t have the special Tatin cake tin. Don’t you even think, though, of using a springform one. Unless you want to go through the entertaining lava flow of melted sugar over the bottom of your oven and challenge the effectiveness of you oven cleaner. Trust my personal experience.
– apples, 5 big
– sugar, 125g
– “00” flour, 150g
– butter, 75g + to grease tin
– lukewarm water, ¼ glass
– lemon, 1
Prepare the dough by mixing together the flour, the softened butter cut into pieces and the water, in order to obtain a very soft texture. Make a ball out of it, wrap it in cling film and keep aside for about an hour. Peel and cut the apples into 8 slices. Pour the lemon juice over them to avoid from making them turn brown. Grease the tin and sprinkle with a lot of sugar. Put the apples in the tin in a round circle. Sprinkle with a lot of sugar. Repeat this action with another layer of apples and sugar. Take the dough and keep the cling film in which it was wrapped underneath. Take another sheet of cling film and place it over the dough. Press it with your hands to obtain a disc shape. Stretch it at a thickness of 3mm, passing the rolling pin over the cling film. This will prevent the dough from sticking. Place the stretched dough over the apples. To make this action easier, roll the dough delicately around the rolling pin, raise it and unroll the dough over the apples. Make it go within the border of the tin and the apples. Cook in a preheated oven at 250°C for about 30 minutes. Overturn the cake upside down in an oven resistant plate. Be very careful as the pie might easily slip. Place the plate in the oven under the grill function for around 10 minutes, until the surface is golden and caramelized.