The original Tarte Tatin was the invention of two French sisters. Carolina and Stephine Tatin were the owners of a hotel in the Loire Valley town of Lamotte-Beuvron. L’Hotel Tatin’s kitchen was presided over by the elder sister Stephine. In 1888, legend has it that the midday crowds drawn to the hotel in hunting season apparently addled Stephine, a particularly
|Hotel Tatin, still in operation in
fine cook. For some reason, she inverted her pie dish so that the apples were on top and the pastry underneath. She needed to get dessert on the table so she served her creation not even giving it time to cool. (Now, by the way, every self-respecting Tarte Tatin is served warm from the oven.) The dessert was a huge hit with the Tatin sisters’ customers. Its fame reached Paris. The owner of Maxim’s Restaurant dispatched a cook/spy, disguised as a gardener, to Lamotte-Beuvron to uncover the secret. The spy was successful and brought the recipe back to Maxim’s where it has been on the menu ever since. I wanted to put a Tarte Tatin on our menu for weekend houseguests and so I set out to create a savory version using the beautifully ripe tomatoes crowding our local farm stands. Here’s what I discovered.
|Version # 1 with
Plum tomatoes were the foundation of the sweet tomato Tarte Tatin and so I went with those. For some reason, they are priced at about half that of the beefsteaks and Roma varieties. Now this is really good news if you are making this dish out of season. Plum tomatoes are much more reliably ‘ripe’ during the winter months. So this dish can be made anytime. I had reserved some Mozzarella Bufala to make the dish. Buffalo Mozzarella has more tang to it than it’s cow’s milk counterpart adding to the savory quality I wanted in my Tarte.