tart tatain’t

Tarte Tatin (pronounced tart tataŋ, where ŋ is a nasal sound) is a famous upside-down apple tart in which the apples are caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked. I am told that it was first created by accident at the Hotel Tatin in Lamott-Beuvron, France in 1898, by sisters Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin. Supposedly, Stéphanie started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long. Smelling the burning, she tried to rescue the dish by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, quickly finishing the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven. After turning out the upside down tart, she was surprised to find how much the hotel guests appreciated the dessert. A classic was born.

Perhaps needless to say, a diabetic does not eat Tart Tatin, but may dream about doing so. The version here therefore ain’t Tatin. Not by a yard. If you can quiet your memories of the real thing by remembering your need for lowered blood glucose, you will find the recipe below most delightful.

  • 1/4 cup lite <brown sugar>
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp maple syrup flavoring
  • ¼ cup <butter>
  • 1 lower G. I. tortilla, cut and latticed
  • 1 gala apple, cored and sliced ¼”

Mix the <sugar> and brown <sugar> together and save a half teaspoon for later use.

Put the first 5 ingredients into a microwave dish and zap on high until the brown <sugar> begins to thicken, about 1 or 2 minutes. Remove and stir to mix the ingredients well.

Lightly spray a glass pie plate with butter-flavored spray. Cut the tortilla into strips and weave them together into a lattice. Brush the tortilla lattice with this mixture and put in a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes, until it crispens and begins to brown slightly. Remove and let cool.

Meanwhile, peel, core, and slice the apple into ¼” quarter rounds. Spray a tart dish with the butter-flavored spray and line it with the apples, concentrically placed. Brush the apples with the <sugar>-margarine mixture and continue to layer and brush until all the apple slices are used.

Top the apple slices with the crust, brush on a little more of the brown <sugar>. Cover and bake the tart for 15 minutes then uncover and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes.

Pour any liquid that has seeped from the apples into a custard cup and then brush this on the crust. Bake another 15 minutes and rest another 10 minutes.

It is important that you do this otherwise the apples will fall apart when you turn the tart over. Run a spatula underneath the apples to make sure none are sticking to the tart dish. Take a serving plate and put it over the tart dish. Turn it over. Slowly remove the tart dish.

Cut into two servings and serve lukewarm with lower G. I. vanilla ice cream (such as Breyer’s Carb Smart).