Apple tarte tatin
- January 2018
- Serves 6-8
- Hands-on time 15 min, oven time 20-25 min, plus ½ hour chilling
Matt Tebutt‘s tarte tatin is the perfect dessert to impress – without too much fuss. He says: ”It’s the dish I pull out when I want to do something impressive but simple for my family. My kids and father-in-law absolutely love it. It’s just butter, sugar, apples (a good firm British apple like a cox) and pastry. It’s a showstopper without being too flouncy. You could give it to royalty or your neighbours and everyone would say the same: ‘Amazing!’
Want something a bit different? Go savoury with this caramelised onion tarte tatin.
- 17.1g (9.7g saturated)
- 27.3g (19.1g sugars)
- 100g butter, softened
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken
- 1 star anise
- 1 vanilla pod
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 4-5 cox’s apples (depending on size) peeled, cored and halved (rub with lemon to stop them browning)
- Plain flour to dust
- 200g readymade all-butter puff pastry
- Clotted cream to serve
You’ll also need…
- 20cm ovenproof copper/heavy-based frying pan
- Spread the butter over the base of the frying pan to cover it completely. Sprinkle over the caster sugar in an even layer. Scatter over the cinnamon stick, star anise, vanilla pod, nutmeg and a grinding of black pepper, then lay the halved apples on top, cut-side facing up.
- Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface to 3mm (no thinner) then cut out a circle using a plate about 2cm larger than the frying pan as a template. Lay the pastry over the apples in the pan, tucking in all the edges and making sure all the apples are tightly packed.
- Prick the pastry top all over (this will allow the steam to escape during cooking), then chill for 30 minutes (see Make Ahead).
- Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. To cook, put the pan over a medium-high heat and, every few minutes, shake the pan to prevent the apples burning. Look for a golden caramel appearing around the sides of the pan after about 6-8 minutes. Don’t worry if the pastry puffs up and melts a little (see tip).
- Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry feels firm and is a deep golden colour. The tatin can be halted at this stage and re-heated later (see Make Ahead) or turn it out onto a serving plate and serve warm with clotted cream.
Don’t worry about the slightly unorthodox method – we were surprised by the pastry being put on the apples before the apples were cooked on the hob, but we have tested the recipe thoroughly and this method really does work – tender, caramelised apples and light, crisp pastry. Matt certainly knows his stuff!
Make and bake the tarte (see step 5) up to 24 hours in advance. Cool completely, then leave in the frying pan in a cool room. When ready to serve, warm through in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes. The tarte can be chilled at step 3 (before baking) for up to 24 hours. Bake as in the recipe.
Bordeaux’s famous sweet wine sauternes makes a magical match; for more value pick a near-neighbour monbazillac.
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