Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tart Tatin

all purpose flour, for dusting
18 ounces puff pastry, if frozen, thawed
5 small eating apples (approximately 1 3/4 pounds), a mixture of sweet and acidic varieties
3 1/2 ounces golden caster sugar
3 1/2 fluid ounces Calvados
1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways, seeds scraped out
1 1/2 T butter, cubed

Preparing the tart tartin:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll out your puff pastry until it's just over 1/4-inch thick. This will be enough to cover the ovenproof frying pan you'll be cooking the tart tatin in, leaving about 2 inches extra around the edge. Put the pastry to one side for now.

Peel your apples, then halve them horizontally and use a teaspoon to get rid of the seeds and core.

Put the ovenproof pan on a medium heat and add the sugar, Calvados, vanilla seeds, and pod. Let the sugar dissolve and cook until the mixture forms a light caramel.
Once the caramel looks and smells delicious (it should be chestnut brown) add the halved apples. Carefully stir everything in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes or until the apples start to soften and the toffee cloaks the apples. Add the cubed butter, then lay the pastry over the top. Quickly tuck the pastry down right into the edges; use a wooden spoon and don't touch the caramel.

Bake the tart tatin for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden, with crispy caramel pieces bubbling up from under the edges. Remove from the oven.

Turn the tart tatin out from the pan. Set aside to cool for a few minutes and serve with a spoonful of creme fraiche or ice cream.


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