Tarte tatin

From Tamasin Day-Lewis, an irresistible upside-down tart of golden crisp pastry and glossy burnished apples
By Tamasin Day-Lewis
Tarte tatin
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

Main

  • 8-10 crisp eating apples
  • juice of 1 lemons
  • 90 g vanilla sugar
  • 60 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the short-crust pastry:

  • 180 g plain flour or wholemeal flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 90 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2-2 1/2 tbsp ice cold water

Method

1. First make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. (If you are using wholemeal flour, tip the sifted-out bran back into the flour.) Transfer to a food processor. Scatter the pieces of butter over the flour. Process for 20-30 seconds, then add the water, a tablespoonful at a time, with the machine running. If the dough is still crumbly after a minute or two, add another tablespoon of water. The moment it coheres into a single ball, stop the machine and remove the dough. Wrap in cling film and chill while you prepare the apples.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

3. Peel the apples. Cut one in half, then cut one of the halves in two. Cut the rest into quarters and remove all the cores. Put in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice to prevent browning.

4. Sprinkle the sugar into a large oven-proof frying pan in a thin layer. Heat gently over low heat, watching it all the time, as some bits will brown before others. You want the sugar to melt to a dark brown liquid all over without burning. Remove from the heat and immediately scatter about one-third of the butter over the sugar. It will bubble instantly.

5. Place the half apple, cut side up, in the middle of the pan. Arrange a tightly packed wheel of quarters around it. Dot with the remaining butter. Place over a gentle heat to start it cooking. Remove from the heat.

6. Roll out the pastry to a circle just bigger than the frying pan. Drape it loosely over a rolling pin and then place over the apples. Tuck the pastry down the sides of the pan like bedclothes to seal in the apples.

7. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

8. Cover the pan with a serving plate and flip the tart over onto it. Rearrange any stray fruit. The fruit should look glossily, gloopily burnished.

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