As French as the Eiffel Tower, this apple confection recipe from Expat Kitchen Cooking School is a guaranteed hit. It’s an upside-down cake, where the fruit is caramelised in butter and sugar before the tart is baked.
Apple Tarte Tatin
• 2 sheets puff pastry, cut into a 23cm-diameter round
• 40g butter, roughly chopped
• 65g caster sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
• 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
• Ice cream or double cream to serve
What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Scatter sugar over the base of a 20cm-diameter cast-iron or heavy stainless-steel frying pan.
2. Cook over high heat until sugar begins to dissolve and caramelise around the edges (1 to 2 minutes), then swirl pan occasionally, but do not stir.
3. Add butter and swirl to combine (20 to 30 seconds). Remove from heat and carefully arrange apples over caramel to create a swirl effect.
4. Cover with puff pastry, then quickly tuck edges into side of pan with a spoon.
5. Score pastry 2 or 3 times in the centre to allow steam to escape (but don’t scrape the non-stick pan with the knife!). Transfer to oven and bake until pastry is deep golden and puffed (20 to 25 minutes).
6. Remove from oven, allow to stand for 2 minutes, place a plate over the top and shake to loosen tart.
7. Working quickly and very carefully, protecting yourself from the hot handle and the hot caramel, invert tart onto plate. Cut into pieces and serve hot with ice cream or double cream.
Cook’s Notes & Tips:
• Pear, peaches or plums could be used instead of apples.
• Choose a pan that will fit in your oven – an ovenproof cast-iron or heavy-based stainless steel pan holds heat well. No plastic handles!
• Cut the pastry rounds slightly larger than your pan to allow you to tuck the edges in, then place them in the fridge while you prepare the base of the tart.
• Arrange your peeled and quartered apples neatly around the pan, presentation side down, and place one or two quarters in the centre as well so the base is completely covered. Pack them together tightly, because they’ll shrink during cooking.