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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tart tatin

This is one of those desserts that I will forever be enamored with French for making but will forever resent the French for naming...'Tart tatin' -the only way to say it is as if you have just tasted something awful and bitter so that you widen your mouth into a frog-like smile to let the words drip off your tongue to get the pronunciation right. In Layman's terms you would pronounce it 'tert - tata' with a 'n' on the end that is present but in the same annoying way as the 't' in 'Moet'. - in short, if you don't get it or can't get it, forget about it, just make it and tell your friends that it is a French apple tart, or say 'tart tatin' under your breath in the hope that they will all be too embarrassed to ask you to repeat it. Either way you should make this.

Tart tatin

Ingredients: (serves 6-8)
7 apples (granny smith)
1/2 cup sugar
50g butter
1 packet ready-made puff pastry
Cream to serve

Preheat oven to 220*C and grease a 23 centimeter oven proof frying pan or completely metal cake tin (you are going to melt the sugar in it on the stove top)
Peal, core and halve the apples.
Pour the sugar into the pan/cake tin and place on the stove top on high heat. When the sugar begins to dissolve swirl the pan so that the sugar melts evenly, once the sugar has melted and has turned a golden brown colour, continue to swirl until it turns a lighter shade of caramel (approx 5 min), now add the butter and swirl the pan so that, as the butter melts, it dissolves into the sugar to create a caramel.
When the caramel is a deep brown take it off the stove. (If it begins to darken too quickly, put the bottom of the pan into a sink of cold water which will stop the cooking process immediately.)
Carefully arrange the apples, centre side up in the caramel in the pan.
Cut the pastry into a circle just larger than the pan and carefully cover the apples with the circle of pastry. Tuck in the edges and prick the top with a fork.
Bake for 20 minutes on 220 and then a further 20-25 minutes on 200.
Remove from the oven, place a plate on top of the pan and, making sure not to burn yourself, turn the pan and plate over to release the tart onto the plate.
Serve warm or cold with cream.

If you are serving your tart the next day - I would advise you glaze it with a little melted apricot jam as the longer the tart stands, the more its shine will dissipate.

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