Apple Tarte Tatin
A tarte tatin is one of those recipes that always seems to be far more complicated than it really is – when in actual fact, after you have made it once you will be wondering why it hasn’t been on your ‘lets bake this ALL the time’ list for every dinner party, family get together or Saturday night dinner-in. It is that easy and that impressive – not to mention delicious!
But let’s not save our Tarte Tatin for dessert only, we devoured ours after a morning of ice skating in Central Park – it seemed to work well with our hot chocolate. In fact those caramelised apples sitting atop the beautifully buttery, pastry could almost be passed off as a decadent breakfast treat. Whether, it be morning, noon or night and whatever the occasion, this is certainly one of the most richly satisfying and feel good desserts treats I have tasted in a long time.
141 grams/5 ounces cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon aster (superfine) sugar
1 1/2 cup plain (all purpose) flour
3 to 6 tablespoons iced water
4 medium apples, fresh and firm (Granny Smith or Pink Lady work really well)
113 grams/4 ounces salted butter
1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
To make the pastry, combine the flour and sugar in a bowl and place it in your freezer, along with the cubes of butter and your pastry cutter or fork. Leave for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place a large piece of parchment paper on your work surface and scatter it liberally with flour.
Remove everything from your freezer and begin to cut the butter through the flour mixture, this will require a fair about of elbow grease. Stop when the larget pieces of butter are the size of peas.
Add the ice water a little at a time, processing just until the dough starts to come together and almost looks shaggy. Gather it together and place on your work surface (handle the dough as little as possible so the little pieces of butter do not melt). Lightly flour the surface of the dough and your rolling pin and carefully roll the dough into an 11 inch circle. Using the pargchment paper, move the dough onto a large rimless baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To prepare the filling, preheat your oven to 190 c/375 f. Peel and core the apples and cut them in half.
Place the butter into an ovenproof skillet or pan, measuring around 7 to 8 inches across the bottom and 10 to 11 inches across the top, and melt over a low heat. Remove from heat, add the sugar and whisk until combined and dissolved. Arrange your apples over the top, cut small pieces if you wish to fill in gaps.
Return your pan to the stove top and on a high heat, boil for around 20 minutes or until the juices in the pan turn to an amber colour. Remove from the heat.
Place your dough onto of the apples, and working quickly, tuck in the pastry into the sides using a spoon. Place in the oven and bake until the pastry is a golden brown colour, about 25-35 minutes. Remove from your oven and allow to cool on a rack about 30 minutes.
Run a knife along the inside edge of the pan, place your serving dish on top of the pan and flip over so your Tarte Tatin inverts onto your platter.
Your Tarte Tatin will last a day at room temperature, and another if refrigerated, heat slightly before serving if not eaten immediately.
Notes: This can be made with slices of apples rather than just halves. And feel free to substitute the pastry with a shop bought puff pastry, although I promise you the homemade one will be a thousand times better!
Yield: Serves 6 – 8