The French Country Travel Life Pie is uniquely French. That being said, it doesn’t, at least in the incarnations of which I’m aware, have any wine, or exotic flavored spirits within.
Although it can be made with pears, peaches, pineapple, or even (not to DA BG’s taste!) tomatoes, this thoroughly French dessert is usually made with apples. Which are caramelized in butter and sugar before baking.
The closest (perhaps only?) non-French relative of this froggie delicacy is the pineapple upside down cake. And if you saw this famous French creation, that’s probably what you’d mistake it for. Because the “Tart Tatin” is an apple upside down cake.
While not obscured in the mists of time, like most culinary creations, there are different accounts of exactly who the original creators were. The most widely accepted “Historical reality” is that the Tart Tatin was created accidently by one of two sisters who ran a small Hotel south of Paris. Their family name? – Tatin.
Regardless of the accuracy of it’s origins, the “Tart Tatin” Is a classic in the French culinary repetoire.
My friend Jean Tatin, a descendant of those sisters, is also a classic. Not for his connection to the “family tart” or his fine wine. But for his Humanity. Jean Tatin is a Classic “human being.” Who just happens to be French.
It was raining the night I met Jean. Not heavily. But steadily. And the temperature and color of the sky confirmed that it wasn’t going to improve. Plus, it was getting seriously dark.I was in the flat farmlands of the Cher region. Just before the Loire bends to the right and turns toward Bourges. Farm country. No “single family dwellings.” Just another farm every five to 10 kilometers.
At one of these “few and far between” cow posts where I stopped to inform Ma and Pa that this could be their big (and only) chance to offer some DRY French hospitality to the exotic stranger from the far away lands, the friendly farmette graciously demured. But said that I would most probably find a warm(and dry) welcome at the next farm down the line.
Ten soggy minutes later, I was at the front door of a large, but (for that region) suprisingly large house. Definitely not from the same “been here for 200 years” mold of the neighbour farms.
My knock was answered quickly. With a relaxed smile. By a Man of my height. But, happily for him, with more “meat on his bones.” Jean Tatin.
Part Two – Next Time
THROW ME A BONE HERE, PEOPLE!
What are ya thinkin’?