Saturday, 8 February 2014

Tarte Tatin - Eleanor Crossland

I made tarte Tatin. I've never made it before and was very excited as I love appley desserts and I love a challenge. Last autumn and winter our freezer was stocked with stewed apple and we ate it for breakfast, with chicken, with custard and yoghurt...

Anyway, back to the tarte Tatin. I cut a few corners and bought ready-made filo pastry from the supermarket which is so, so easy to use. It made the whole method so easy - I really recommend you use it. I had a few hiccups - well, I didn't have any butter so I substituted it with Benecol. I don't think this worked quite so well as it separated from the sugar during baking. Also, we had problems judging when the caramel was done - who knows?!

I chose to use my new spring-lock cake pan. Now this seemed like a good idea as it was the perfect size and would allow for easy release, but the caramel seeped out through the base of the tin, away from the tarte Tatin. Luckily, I had amazing foresight, and had placed the tin on a baking tray. This caught all the caramel and meant we could enjoy that separately (NB -it's REALLY hot when you eat it straight out of the oven, and if you leave it to set too much, it's tooth-breakingly chewy.

I was amazed by the layer of fat that floated on the hot sugar in the baking tray. Who knew that the Benecol and sugar would separate? I drained it off and we enjoyed the caramel by itself. In the end, I've gone onto a fat-free recipe, which tastes just as good and doesn't leak everywhere.

So here goes:

Tarte Tatin


1 pack ready-to-use Filo pastry
4 sharp Cox apples
100g soft brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a 20 cm cake-tin (I use spring-lock).
Melt the sugar in a heavy-based, good-quality pan without stirring. After a short while it should start to brown and caramelise.
In the meantime, peel the apples and slice into 8 wedges. Arrange in the cake-tin. I do them in circles.
Open the packet of pastry and lay out. Cut out a circle which is about 4cm bigger than the cake-tin.
Pour the caramel over the apple layer.
Carefully lift the pastry circle and lay over the apples. Tuck the pastry edges under, fairly neatly but watch your fingers-the caramel will be very hot.
Bake for 30 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then carefully turn out onto a serving plate.
Serve with cream, ice-cream, yoghurt or by itself.

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