Tarte Tatin

 

Looks impressive, tastes delicious and is not at all difficult to make.

 

Ingredients

 

For the sour cream shortcrust pastry

• 200 g plain flour, sifted
• 1 pinch salt
• 100 g butter, chilled and cubed
• 2 tbsp soured cream, or crème fraîche (milk will do as well).

For the filling

• 4 eating apples Granny Smith; if using a small variety, such as Cox’s Orange Pippin, you will need about 6 apples. More often than not, I use pears (tinned or fresh) as i) they taste great and ii) they look good too as the picture shows.
• 125 g caster sugar
• 100 ml water
• 25 g butter
• 1 egg, beaten

To serve

• cream or ice-cream

 

Equipment

Pan

 

 

We bought this frying pan specifically for making caramelised puds. The pan colour makes it very easy to see when the caramel has reached the right colour and the steel handle means it can go straight into the oven.

However, any oven proof pan will do – you just need to keep a careful eye on the caramel.

 

 

 

Method

For the sour cream shortcrust pastry

1. Place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and whizz briefly. Add half the sour cream (or milk) and continue to whizz. You might add a little more, but not too much as the mixture should be just moist enough to come together. If making by hand, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs then, using your hands, add just enough sour cream/milk to bring it together.

2. With your hands, flatten out the ball of dough until it is about 2cm thick, then wrap in cling film or place in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or, if you are pushed for time, in the freezer for 10–15 minutes.

3. Turn the oven on and preheat to 200ºC

 

For the filling

4. Prepare the fruit, then cut into quarters for apples or halved for pears. Remove the core from each quarter and set aside. Don’t worry if they go brown, and don’t cover in water or they will be too wet.
I need 4 pears for my size pan – six halves and trim one for the middle – but enough to make a decorative tart. Honestly, tinned pears are just as good and available all year round.
Don’t forget, you’ll be turning this over on to the plate, so remember to arrange the fruit ‘upside down’.

5. Place the sugar and water in a medium-sized oven proof pan and set over a low–medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.

6. Increase the heat and boil the syrup until it starts to caramelise around the edges – about 5 minutes. Do not stir once it has come to the boil otherwise the syrup will crystallise. Once the syrup starts to turn golden, you may need to swirl the pan slightly to even out the caramelisation.

7. Once the syrup is a golden caramel in colour, add the butter and swirl the pan again to distribute it through the caramel. Take great care – this sauce is VERY hot and any splashes on to bare hands will hurt – a lot!
8. Remove the pan from the heat, and arrange the fruit attractively, keeping in mind that the tart will be flipped over when serving. The fruit must completely cover the base of the pan.

9. Place the pan back over a medium heat and cook for 10 minutes to slightly caramelise the fruit, while you roll out the pastry.

10. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to a disc about 2cm wider in diameter than the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and place the pastry on top of the almost cooked apples. Using the base of a spoon or a fork, tuck the pastry in around the edges of the apples. Brush the pastry with beaten egg then, using a skewer or fork, prick a few holes in the pastry.

11. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the apples feel cooked when you insert a skewer through the centre.

12. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for just a few minutes. There will be a certain amount of (very hot) caramel sauce which I tend to pour off into a jug. It makes turning out a lot safer. I also ease the edges of the pastry away from the pan to make sure it comes away easily. Place your plate on top of the pan and carefully flip it and turn it out. Use a plate with a slight lip to catch the delicious juices. Pour the excess sauce back over the tart.


Cut into slices to serve. Serve with cream or ice cream.

 

As ever, you can download a pdf copy of the recipe by clicking the link below.

 

Download Recipe