It snowed this morning. The first snow of the season. It made me want comfort food and I immediately thought of a recipe that I had been ruminating on for a few weeks: Maple ginger tarte Tatin, with a Tea with Mum twist, of course.
What is tarte Tatin?
Tarte Tatin is the signature Hôtel Tatin, in Lamotte-Beuvron, Loir-et-Cher (about 170 km south of Paris). Apparently, its invention was one of those happy accidents, in which over caramelised butter and sugar lead to an effort to save the dish and ended up with the delicious tarte Tatin. Traditionally, tarte Tatin is made with apples, that are caramelised in butter and sugar before the tart is baked. Basically, it is a French apple pie, without the cinnamon.
My inspiration for this maple ginger tarte Tatin
Years ago I made one using a recipe from Donna Hay. If you followed my recipes for a while, you will know that I generally love Donna Hay’s recipes. They are so simple and just delicious. I have most of her cookbooks and receive her regular emails with more recipes. This recipe uses her tarte Tatin recipe of long ago as part of my inspiration.
The second part of my inspiration comes from the supermarket. Ever see a product at the supermarket and it just speaks to you. In this case – in true Tea with Mum style, it was a box of apple and ginger tea.
Apple and ginger, as a tea, does not sound very enticing to me. However, as a flavour combination, it has something going for it. I love the freshness that ginger brings to a recipe. It’s perfect during cold and flu season.
However, with the exception of ginger in certain Asian dishes, such as my black tea chicken and eggplant stir-fry, I am not a huge fan of bits of ginger in my food. I didn’t want this tarte Tatin recipe to involve bits of ginger swimming around in caramel and sticking to the apple. So what did I do? Used tea of course!
Trust me, you’ll love this tarte Tatin recipe
When I was cooking this, our house smelt just like ginger snaps. So delicious! I wanted to dive in and eat some then and there!
That’s what the caramel tasted like too – like caramelised syrupy ginger snaps.
You could spend ages cutting the apples and laying them carefully in a pattern. While this might look more impressive when turned out (like this apple teacake, which the Tea with Mum email subscribers will know more about), you might find that your apple goes soggy. I found simply scoring the apple quarters was sufficient (i.e. running a knife down the back to make approx. five small cuts in each apple piece).
Ginger without the bits
Of course, while the apple and ginger tea was part of the inspiration for this maple ginger tarte Tatin, I actually used just ginger tea in the recipe. This gave me the ginger taste, but not the bits.
The difficulty was trying to get enough of the ginger taste, without overpowering the maple taste. I did want the caramel to be too liquidy, either. At the same time, it couldn’t be too sweet, or the maple and ginger would be lost. I just about got it.
Some recipes, such as the raspberry and cranberry tea shortbread recipe I plan to share soon, infuse the butter with tea before using. I didn’t think this would not work for this maple ginger tarte Tatin. Only a little butter is used in the recipe and it is only added after the caramelisation. Tea infused butter would therefore not give the ginger kick that I wanted.
Have you ever looked inside a ginger tea teabag? Ginger ‘tea’ is quite fine. I am not sure that straining it from the butter would be too successful, either.
Serve it up
Like apple pie, this maple ginger tarte Tatin is best served warm with cream and/or vanilla ice cream. Upside down of course! Sometimes simplicity is best.
Mmmhh, maple ginger tarte Tatin
If you are a fan of apple pie, but not necessarily the cinnamon, and like ginger, you must try this maple ginger tarte Tatin recipe. It’s great as a dessert, especially when it is cold and wet outside. Or for breakfast, like I’m having now… better get back to it!
Would you have thought to put these tastes together?
Maple ginger tarte Tatin
- 2 to 3 ginger teabags
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 75 g butter cut into cubes
- 4 apples peeled, cored and quartered
- puff pastry
- Boil the water and make a cup of tea with the teabags. Use just enough water to cover the bags. Allow to steep for about 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°c.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the tea into a frypan with a 20cm diameter. Make sure the frypan is oven-proof. Add the sugar and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Increase the heat and bring the sweet tea mix to the boil. Add the maple syrup and simmer for 7 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has darkened and thickened.
- Turn off the heat and carefully stir in the butter until it is melted and well combined. Carefully place the apples in the mixture, score side down, to form a layer in the frypan. There may be some overlap.
- Roll out your puff pastry and cut out a circle as big at the frypan. My frypan has a lid, so I just use it as a ‘cookie cutter’ to get the right size. Otherwise, place a plate on the pastry and cut around it. If your puff pastry isn’t big enough, combine a couple of pieces of pastry and roll out the dough to 5mm thickness and cut out your round. Place the dough on top of the apples and tuck in the sides. Cut a couple of holes in the top (I cut five in a star shape), and place the frypan in the oven.
- Bake for approx. 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes before flipping onto a plate. Take care not to lose too much of your syrup when you do.
- Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and/or cream.