Saturday, 16 October 2010

Raymond Blanc's Tarte Tatin

photo by Jean Cazals
Oh, rarely has a dish been so badly abused than the Tarte Tatin.  Common mistakes are: too little caramelisation and too few apples, with a pale, flabby puff pastry layer.  The apples should be halved and packed, upright, into the buttery caramel base, and the pastry should be cooked until crisp and flaky, to provide contrasting textures.  I was privileged, many years ago, to watch a live cookery demonstration by the demi-God, Raymond Blanc.  From what I can remember, dragged out of  memories obscured by sheer lust and awe, he produced a Tatin of utter brilliance (I also remember him tasting olive oil by pouring it onto his palm and licking it off - I didn't recover from that for several weeks).  So, I have followed his recipe every Autumn for our annual treat, probably for the last 20 years or more.  The recipe works, so I shall simply point you to it to follow too, along with a picture from his cookbook that shows what perfection should look like.


  1. Fantastic looking Tarte Tatin. A work of art!!!!

  2. Hi Maggie

    Well, that's certainly a foolproof way of producing an elegant Tatin :) But at the risk of heresy, I like mine messier than that! I do agree the apples should be in no smaller pieces than quarters (depending on the size of the apples), and they should be cooked until they are that gorgeous dark brown, without being turned to mush. But I cook apples and caramel slowly all together in one pan, slap the pastry on top, and put it in the oven. It looks more home-made than M. Blanc's (and why not?), but it is still gorgeous :)