The original tart was called Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin and is quite different—mainly in thickness—from the recipe you see below. The dish was conjured by two sisters who ran a hotel in Paris. So goes legend, one sister was cooking the apples for a traditional pie but left them on the stove for too long. In attempt to save the overcooked filling, she pushed a pie base down into the pot, on top of the apples, and baked it just enough to cook the dough. To remove the dish, she had to turn the pot upside-down until it dropped, producing a face-up pie with no roof. Exhausted, she served the ruined desert to hotel guests anyway, who gave unexpected compliments. The sisters perfected the recipe and marketed it as a new, unique pastry.
Prep: 15 min | Cooking: 50 min | Total: 1 hr 5 min
Makes 1 pie
Apples, cored and sliced about 1/8-inch thick (5 regular sized apples)
White granulated sugar (1/3 cup + more to sprinkle on top)
Brown sugar (1/3 cup)
Butter, melted (3 tbsp)
Lemon juice (1 tsp)
Cinnamon (1 tsp)
Nutmeg (1/2 tsp)
Water (1 tbsp)
Pie crust (1)
Preheat oven to 350 °F. In a medium or large bowl, toss together apples, white sugar, brown sugar, butter, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In a small bowl, mix together egg yolk and water. Using a food brush or the backside of a spoon, paint the pie crust in egg mixture (egg wash).
Place apple slices into pie crust. If you're okay with getting your fingers dirty, try as best as possible to position the slices upright. Sprinkle some granulated sugar on top and bake 50 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve.