For my brother's birthday today, instead of baking a classic cake, I attempted an Apple Tarte Tatin, showcased on Masterchef in Season 1. What seemed like a real challenge turned out to actually be one of the simplest desserts I've come across, with stunning results. The aroma from the juicy apples as they caramelise is just so mouth-watering; teamed with fresh vanilla bean ice-cream, this dessert is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser!
Serves 2:- 3 Golden Delicious apples
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 20g unsalted butter, chopped
- Ready-rolled puff pastry sheet
- Cream or Ice-cream, to serve
Preheat oven to 200ºC. Peel apples, cut into quarters, remove cores (cutting each quarter at the core so it has a “flat” side), and toss the quarters in a large bowl with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the sugar.
Using a 20cm frying pan as a guide, cut pastry into a round slightly larger than the pan, prick with a fork. Melt butter in a 20cm non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cover with the remaining sugar. Cook over medium-low heat, shaking pan occasionally to spread around any dark spots that appear, until a rich caramel forms.
Place apple quarters into pan, rounded side down, arranging them around pan. Cut remaining apple to fill gaps. Cook the apples over medium heat for about 10 minutes until caramel is bubbling up in the pan, shaking pan occasionally to prevent burnt spots.
Lay the pastry over the apples, tucking any protruding edges around edges of pan.
Place the pan in the oven, cook for about 25 minutes, or until the puff pastry has risen and cooked. The pastry should be dry and flaky. Stand tarte in pan for 10 minutes before carefully turning out onto a serving plate.
Apple Tarte Tatin
Unsure of how the butter caramel would behave, I didn't want to simmer it for too long in fear of burning the sugar. Next time, I will definately take it further and cook the caramel until it reaches a more dark and richer colour. A few more minutes in the oven would also improve the golden-brown colour of the pastry. It is also important to ensure that the caramel completely covers the apple quarters when placing down the puff pastry, so that it can act like a glue to hold the apples to the base.