"My Mum's tarte tatin is the best on the planet, and it's the only one of her recipes I can never seem to replicate exactly — but I do try. The sweet, sticky caramel and tender apples on a base of flaky pastry make for in impressive dessert (or terribly indulgent breakfast treat!) no matter the occasion." ~Manu Feildel.
200 g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
120 g unsalted butter
8 Pink Lady apples
1 sheet shortcrust pastry
Plain flour for dusting
Creme fraiche or sour cream, to serve
Peel, core and quarter apples. Set aside.
Place a 25 cm heavy-based, oven-proof skillet over low heat and add the sugar. Cook, tilting pan occasionally, until sugar has melted and turned a golden colour — do not stir. Add vanilla seeds and 80 g butter to the caramel, swirl to combine well and remove from heat.
Place apples into the pan, rounded side down and tightly packed — starting from the outside and working into the centre like a flower. Dot with remaining butter, return to low heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until apples are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife and the caramel bubbling around the apples is dark and rich. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 190° C
Remove pan from stove and roll the pastry on a lightly floured surface until slightly larger than the skillet. Place pastry on top of apples and use a spoon to tuck it down around the edges like a blanket.
Place skillet in oven and bake 20 mins until pastry is golden — you may want to set a sheet pan on a lower rack to catch any caramel that bubbles over the edge of the pastry.
Remove tart from oven and leave to cool for about an hour, this is an important step to allow the apple to release from the base of the pan. Return to the stove for a minute or two to just warm the caramel, place a large plate over the pastry then turn upside down. Shake the pan slightly and lift off of the tart. Slice and serve.
Serving the tart with creme fraiche cuts through the sweetness of the caramel and adds a freshness that ice cream can’t.
When I don’t make my own pastry I use Carême’s Sour Cream Shortcrust for this recipe.
Credits: Manu Feildel
Photo Credits: Jennifer Jenner