Spiced apple tarte tatin

The classic French upside-down dessert from Matt Tebbutt that marries gently spiced apple with buttery puff pastry
By Matt Tebbutt
Spiced apple tarte tatin
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-3
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus chilling time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 3 cox's apples, peeled, halved and cored
  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 200 g bought or homemade puff pastry

Tips and Suggestions

If the pastry starts to melt when you're cooking the apples on the hob, youve rolled it too thin. Remove, cool and start again with a new layer of pastry on top.

Method

1. Peel and core the apples then cut in half from top to bottom. Set aside.

2. Press the butter into the base of a 20cm diameter copper/heavy-based pan with the back of a wooden spoon until it melts to completely cover the base. Sprinkle over the caster sugar in an even layer. Place the cinnamon stick, star anise, vanilla, and a twist of black pepper in the pan and then lay the halved apples on top, cut-side facing up.

3. On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to 3mm thick or so, then cut around a plate about 3cm larger than the cooking pan. Place in the pan, tucking the pastry down between the side of the pan and the apples to create the sides of the tart, make sure the whole pan is tightly packed. Prick the top all over to allow the steam to escape when cooking, and then chill for 30 minutes or so.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 7. To cook, put the pan over a moderate heat and shake the pan every few minutes to prevent the apples from burning. Look for a golden caramel colour to appear around the side of the pan, after about 6-8 minutes.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is firm and golden. If you are not serving the tatin immediately, you can leave it in the pan and reheat it later, or you can turn it out warm and serve with clotted cream.

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