Mango and Orange Tarte Tatin for Marsha’s Birthday

Tatin! Joyeux Anniversaire from Paris, Marsha!

I just couldn’t make this tarte big enough for my lovely friend, Marsha. You see, it’s her birthday. It’s also her first blogoversary approaching this month, and she has given me the total honour of being a guest on The Harried Cook, to join her birthday celebrations.

Marsha is the sweetest blogger I’ve virtually met. She’s adorable (I’m saying that with a French accent, so imagine it as adorrrraaaaable, with a rolled ‘R’ – it sounds so much better) and fun. Can you imagine her lucky husband and daughter, sampling her latest creations such as honey and sesame bread, and lemon-lime meringue pie? (Another great egg yolk recipe!) Speaking of which, do you remember her guest post with an incredible Strawberries and Cream Mousse Pie, using a Pâte à Bombe method? Marsha says she’s harried, but I admire how she juggles her day job and family life, plus manages to move house like a warm Indian breeze.

What is this for a birthday cake, you ask? Well, in our house we don’t really eat cake. We eat macarons… and right now we’re eating so many tarte tatins. It’s the season, as the humble apple is the basis of the classic French Tarte Tatin. It’s our winter version of eating the recommended daily portions of fruit. I guess it’s healthy, even if there is a touch of butter and sugar – just to carmelise it, you understand.

When I was newly married, my French Mother-in-Law would produce the most sumptious Tarte Tatin for dessert. I was in awe. It sounded grand and looked complicated. How could I possibly return home and make this for Antoine without goofing up? She had given me the recipe and told me it was dead easy. Hey, am I supposed to believe everything she tells me? So, I went home and made anything but Tarte Tatin since I had no courage. Then one day I saw it in a French magazine and saw how quick and easy this French dessert was to make. A no brainer. That’s me. That’s my Tarte Tatin. It’s the same syndrome as macaron-making, don’t you think? Picture Julie Andrews singing, “I have confidence in me”!

The Tatin sisters, who ran a restaurant at the start of last century in Sologne, gave the dessert its name. The story goes that as the apples were cooking they realised they’d forgotten the pastry, so they simply stuffed the pastry on top then flipped the tart upside down and Mon Dieu, look what turned up?

For Marsha’s Tarte Tatin, I picked mangoes, as they’re now appearing on our market stalls, although Marsha quite rightly told me the best ones are from India (these ones are from Peru but that’s all we’re allocated!) And as the oranges are at their best just now, I couldn’t resist adding a touch plus a glow of fresh ginger to spice up our present sub-zero temperatures around Paris.

Mango, Orange & Ginger Tarte Tatin Recipe

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: approx.45 minutes
2 mangoes, firm but sweet (chopped into slices)
1 tsp orange juice
125g light brown sugar
70g unsalted butter
1 tbsp zest from an untreated orange
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 ready-prepared round of puff pastry
Utensils: A good non-stick cake pan that can transfer to the oven (I just used a non-stick frying pan with removable handle)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Heat the sugar and butter in a cake pan, adding the teaspoon of orange juice. Peel and cut the mangoes into slices and pack them closely together in the pan. Add the orange zest and the ginger. Cook over a medium heat for about 20 minutes or until you see the deep golden caramel forming underneath the fruit.
3. Place the round of puff pastry on top of the fruit and tuck it in around the edges of the pan. Prick the pastry and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly for about 10 minutes. Place a large plate (preferably one that dips slightly in the middle to catch the juices) upside down on the tart and flip it over. Tatin!

Happy Sweet Birthday, Marsha and congratulations on your first blog anniversary!

Come join us over at The Harried Cook, for my Guest Post

and let’s sing Happy Birthday to Marsha at the top of our voice!

Tatin! Happy Birthday