Like many famous recipes in history the origins of Tarte Tatin are a little hazy. But the tastiness of this dish is without question. The story goes that sisters in Lamotte-Beuvron , Loire Valley, to satisfy hotel guests had to do some hurried improvisation after leaving apples in butter and sugar for too long. But their mistake was our gain!
Try for yourself this super simple recipe:
300g all-butter puff pastry
plain flour, for dusting
6 medium sweet apples ( approx. 800g), such as Braeburn, Cox’s Orange Pippin or Adam’s Pearmain
100g golden caster sugar
85g unsalted butter (60g chilled and diced, 25g melted)
Crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream, for serve.
Step 1: Roll the pastry to a 3mm-thick round on a lightly floured surface and cut a 24cm circle, using a plate as a guide. Lightly prick all over with a fork, wrap in cling film on a baking sheet and freeze while preparing the apples.
Step 2: Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cut the apples into half horizontally and now remove the seeds and core with a spoon. Cut the halves again once more so the apples are quartered. Put to onse side. Now also cut 60g of butter into diced cubes and put into a separate bowl into the fridge.
Step 3: Now put the sugar in a flameproof 20cm ceramic Tatin dish or a 20cm ovenproof heavy-based frying pan. On a medium heat cook the sugar for about 5 minutes until it has turned to a dark amber caramel syrup. Turn off the heat and stir in the 60g diced chilled butter. In a separate pan melt 25 grams of butter.
Step 4: Now take the caramel & butter mixture add the apples. Arrange the cut quarters very tightly in a circle around the edge of the dish, rounded-side down. Now fill in the middle in using the same pattern. Gently press with your hands to ensure there are no gaps. Brush the fruit with the melted butter.
Step 5: Bake in the oven for 30 mins, then remove and place the disc of frozen puff pastry on top – it will quickly defrost. Tuck the edges down the inside of the dish and, with a knife, prick a few holes in the pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake for a further 40-45 mins until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.
Step 6: After removing from the oven allow the Tatin to cool to room temperature for 1 hr. Run a knife around the edge of the dish to loosen the pastry from the sides. Place an upside down serving plate on top of the pastry. It will need to be deep enough to hold runny caramel and apple juices. Flip over the tray and plate so the Tatin comes free. The Tarte Tatin is now ready to serve. Feel free to add a spoon of crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.