Upside Down on April Fools’ Day
It’s an upside down day, so MyMEGusta is looking at things that we take for granted that are, well, upside down.
Pineapple upside down cake is the most obvious. But look at all the things we flip before serving, or I preparation, like pancakes.
Sticky buns, if done the classic way, start with a layer of sugary caramel on which the spiraled, cinnamon laced dough bakes. At the end, flip and the little rolls are soaked in delicious sweet sauce.
The French favorite, caramel custard (crème renversee au caramel) is another upside down treat. One of the few eggy dishes liked by myMEGusta, this is simply a baked custard, like the sticky buns, with the caramel on the bottom. When finished and overturned, voila!
But the glory of all upside down food is the Tarte Tatin, classically made with apples (use granny smiths or some other firm type), but now frequently showing up on menus made of pears, and, in the summer, tomatoes as a savory, not sweet dish.
Named for the Tatin sisters, Stephanie and Caroline, who ran the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, in the late 19th century, this pie has the crust on the bottom, and the baked apples are soaked in that wonderful caramel sauce (and a very buttery caramel, if it is authentic).
Among the myths surrounding the tarte Tatin are that it was created by mistake when one of the sisters accidentally burned the crust, and flipped it over to hide the evidence. Another is that they didn’t invent anything at all, fruit cobblers and this type of upside down dish being typical of the Sologne region (“tarte solognote”). And, by the way, the sisters never called it by its current name; that came after their deaths when the tarte became wildly popular at chi chi places like Maxim’s in Paris.
No joke, there is no such thing as a bad tarte Tatin, but the best are not too sweet, are served right from the oven, so the crust is still crispy, and come with a dollop of crème fraiche, or whipped cream if that’s all you have, stateside.
And, don’t forget about Tarte Tatin a few months from now when your farmers market – or garden – is overflowing with tomatoes!