From The Infatuated Foodie blog #1
For an all-time favourite wintery dessert, I can’t go far past this tart. It’s what I make when I want something rustic and warming, tasty and fruity and is an eternal favourite. It’s a dessert that’s had people say, as they lick their empty plate, that they’ve never liked cooked apples … until eating this.
If having guests for dinner, you can prepare the very easy pastry early in the day and pop it into the fridge to rest. Have the apples peeled, cored and halved, resting in a bowl of acidulated water to stop them going brown. They can then cook closer to baking time in a stovetop-to-oven pan, before rolling out your pastry and tucking over the fruit like a warm blanket before baking until golden brown.
When it’s cooked the act of flipping onto the plate is a little bit of theatre, so if you have an open plan kitchen/dining like me, your guests get to see it. Great for an oooh, awesome, response that makes you feel all clever. Mind you, all you get is one chance for a very confident flip. I haven’t wrecked one yet. Hopefully I never will.
I’ve always thought it would be great to do this recipe as little individual tarts too. Cook your apples, then place one half in a muffin tray, or similar, share the caramel evenly around, then cut the pastry into rounds that fit just enough to tuck in. Throw in complementary fruit if you wish before baking, like raspberries, cherries or even rhubarb.
You can make this without berries or other fruit and I have, many times. But when I made this recently, I decided that it was a good opportunity to throw a few cherries in that I froze over summer, when they were in season. In fact, each year I’m freezing more and more summer season fruits: apricots, cherries, blueberries and mangoes especially.
A little off-topic tip for freezing summer fruits
Why buy cheap, imported and as we’ve recently discovered in Australia, potentially contaminated fruit when you can buy it cheaper and in season locally, spend a little time preparing it and bung it into ziplock bags, then the freezer.
I washed and dried the cherries and then used an olive pipper to remove the stones, then popped into ziplock bags for freezing. For apricots: wash, dry and cut in half. Remove the stone and once again, into a ziplock bag for the freezer. Cut mangoes in ‘half’ around the stone and use a big spoon to scoop the cheeks out. Put into ziplock bags and freeze. Blueberries – buy organic ones and just put them straight into ziplock backs, then freeze.
Note: Keep the zip strip open just a tiny bit and gently fold the bag up to remove as much air as you can before the final seal.
Back to topic: Apple and cherry Tarte Tatin
Now just before I launch into recipe mode, I do have a confession. I forgot the butter in the caramel when I made this tart. Yep, just plain old forgot. It was an evening of catching up with a beautiful old friend I haven’t seen for close to 20 years, so it just happened. Oh well, it still tasted fantastic.
Without further adieu, let’s get cooking.
You will need
For the pastry:
200g plain flour
150g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
1/3 cup iced water (80 ml)
extra flour for dusting the workbench
For the apples:
5-6 Jonathon (I used Royal Gala) apples
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup sugar
60g unsalted butter
thick cream, to serve
Make the pastry:
Place flour & salt in the bowl of a food processor and process for 30 seconds. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, adding a little more butter if you need to. Alternatively, use a butter cutter or fingers to rub butter into flour. Add the iced water and process or mix with a knife until the pastry forms a ball. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and bring it all together, then shape into a disc, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Remove from the fridge and place between 2 large sheets of baking paper. Roll out into a 30cm round. Cover and return to the fridge to rest for a further 30 minutes.
Prepare the fruit:
Meanwhile … place the sugar into a non-stick, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the sugar has caramelised and is a warm golden colour.
Important notes on caramelising sugar that work for me:
- don’t stir the sugar while it’s melting, but swirl it in the pan
- do not leave it alone – once it starts to go a beautiful golden colour it will burn in seconds, so stay with it and be ready for adding the apples immediately that it’s ready.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
At this stage you can remove apples from the caramel mixture and place cut-side up into a tart pan that fits the apples. Dot some cherries in between the apples and drizzle the remaining caramel syrup over.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and place over the tart pan and gently press onto the apples.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes.
Place a large heatproof serving plate onto the plate and invert, so the tart pan is sitting upside down on the plate, then gently remove the pan from the tart.
Serve immediately or at room temperature with freshly churned vanilla ice-cream if you have it, thick pure cream or a good quality commercial vanilla bean ice-cream.
Delicious! Thank you Tatin sisters.