Tarte Tatin is another French classic which gets its name from the hotel serving it as its signature dish.
It turns the plain apple pie on its head, it is dark and sticky with sweet apples and crispy pastry. You can cook the tart a day in advance and re heat. The pastry is unimportant in this recipe some people use shortcrust others puff.
Firm eating apples are essential so that the apples hold their shape. Braeburn or Cox’s are my preference. Additional ingredients can be added to the caramel for example Cinnamon, vanilla or Calvados but personally I prefer it plane.
7 medium apples
200g white sugar
175g ready-made shortcrust pastry
225g plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
120g cold butter
1 beaten medium egg
Peel, core and half the apples then put in the fridge for 24 hours if you have time.
Put the sugar in a 20 cm heavy -based ovenproof frying pan along with 50 mls of water, cook over a medium heat until golden and fudgy. Take off the heat and stir in the butter and a pinch of salt. Carefully arrange the apples in the pan round side down bearing in mind the caramel will be very hot and put back on the heat. Cook for five minutes then allow to cool completely.
Making the pastry, sieve the flower into a large mixing bowl add the sugar a pinch of salt and grate in the butter. Rub together until it is like breadcrumbs. Mix the egg with 2 teaspoons of cold water and sprinkle in the mixture. Mix together until soft but not sticky. Shape into a ball and cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before rolling out.
Preheat the oven to 200°C . Roll out the pastry to 5 mm thick, and cut into a circle slightly larger than your pan, put back into the fridge to rest.
Put the pastry on top of the pan and tuck in the edges around the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes until pastry is golden. Allow to cool then place a plate slightly larger than your pan on top and turn out the tart. Best served warm with Crème Fraiche.