Amongst the emblematic desserts of French pastry making, it is the tarte Tatin which we audition today, with the version proposed by Carl Marletti. Since its famously serendipitous invention in the 19th century by the Tatin sisters, the tarte Tatin has adopted various shapes and recipes, with varying degrees of faithfulness to the original. Marletti offers us a rather conventional version, in which the cream is included in the tart. But are not easily deceived by appearances – this tart could be much more sophisticated than it looks.
Carl Marletti’s tarte Tatin is composed of a crumbly crust topped with caramelized apples. The apples are crowned with vanilla whipped cream, which is sprinkled with a few roasted almond bits and decorated with a single a silver bead.
The tart has a diameter of 80 mm and a height of 66 mm. The specimen we purchased weights 136 grams and costs 4.90 euros.
We notice that the cream has a distinctive, though not unpleasant, milky taste, while the vanilla is rather discrete. The cream is light, melts in one’s mouth, and does not stand out too much. The apples are just tart enough to remain appetizing, while being sweet enough to prevent any acidic aftertaste to remain on the palate. The shortcrust pastry is rich in butter, and its appearance and thickness reminds us of a palet Breton (a thick, buttery cookie originally from Brittany, whose crumbly texture is not far from cornbread).
The dessert offers a pleasant progression of textures, starting from the cream, to the apples, and finally the crust. The apple flavor is nicely showcased, without being overshadowed by the other elements. As for the crust, it manages to hold well together despite being very crumbly, has a dark amber shade and tastes of caramel and fleur de sel.
Despite its seemingly conventional composition, Carl Marletti’s tarte Tatin reveals itself to be highly refined, particularly thanks to its rich, flavorful crust. Ultimately, it is the crust which lingers on one’s palate and which comes off as the true star of this perfectly executed dessert.
Score: 4/5 Excellent
51 rue Censier, 75005 Paris, France