I have tried many different attempts at tarte tatin, from Mary Berry and Raymond Blanc’s making the caramel first and then lining with apples before baking, or BBC food one where you are asked to grate the pastry over the apples.
This one is the best I have found, and it comes from the sticker which came with my Silverwood tarte tatin tin – it’s beautifully simple and produces the most amazing results.
The idea is the caramel is made with the juice from the apples – divine.
Now the first few times I made tarte tatin I did it in a frying pan and hoped for the best, the results were always tasty, but never attractive (and I burned my hand on the handle as I’m apparently incapable of understanding that just because it’s a frying pan the handle gets hot when you put it in an oven!). The proper pan for the job can be used on the job, put in the oven, has a nice heavy base and decent lip for flipping the tart over.
But don’t take my word for it – try it yourself: (and because it’s old school I make it in oz)
Please note it is SO important to stack your apples up vertically so you the most amazing and deep squidgy caramelised apply goodness and none of this flat tarte rubbish.
Linda Collister’s TARTE TATIN
from ‘The Baking Book’ Serves 6
8in Tarte Tatin Pan
PASTRY: 6oz plain flour; 1oz caster sugar; 3oz unsalted butter, chilled and diced; 1egg yolk; 2 tablespoons icy water; a pinch of salt.
FILLING: 3oz unsalted butter; 6oz caster sugar; 3lb (about 8) dessert apples, such as Cox’s Orange Pippin, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Egremont Russet.
It is best to use tart eating apples for the filling – cooking apples release too much liquid – and to pack them together tightly. Don’t put the pastry onto the apples until they are sitting in a good brown caramel or the tart will be soggy and insipid-tasting.
Make the pastry dough by hand or in a food processor: Put the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of the processor and process until mixed. Add the diced butter and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. With the machine running, add the egg yolk and icy water through the feed tube, and process until the mixture binds together to form a firm but not dry dough. If there are dry crumbs, gradually add a little more water. Wrap and chill while preparing the apples.
Cut the butter into thin slices and arrange to cover the base of the pan completely. Sprinkle over the sugar to make an even layer.
Peel, halve and core the apples. Arrange in the pan, on top of the butter and sugar, so the apple halves stand up vertically. Pack the apples tightly together so the tart will not collapse in the oven. Put the pan over a moderate heat on top of the stove and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the butter and sugar have formed a richly coloured caramel, and all the moisture from the apples has evaporated. Remove from the heat. While the apples are cooking, preheat the oven to 220C (425F, Gas 7).
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a round to fit the top of the pan. Roll up the dough around the rolling pin and lift over the pan. Gently unroll the dough so it covers the apples completely. Quickly tuck the edges of the dough down inside the pan, then prick the pastry lid all over with a fork. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Cool slightly, then loosen the pastry edges and turn out the tart upside down so the pastry is under the caramelised apples. Eat warm or at room temperature, with ice-cream, crème fraîche or fromage frais.