What a wonderful story. And what a truly wonderful dish she has given us!
6 dessert apples such as Golden Delicious, or
250 gms sugar
120 gms melted butter
½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
For the chilled sweet shortcrust pastry
7 ozs plain white flour
4 tbsps castor sugar
3½ ozs chilled butter
1 egg beaten with 1teaspoon water
½ tsp vanilla extract
A baking dish about 2”–2½” ins in depth
1. Roll the pastry to a 3mm-thick round on a lightly floured
surface and cut a 24cm circle, using a plate as a guide. Lightly prick all over
with a fork, wrap in cling film on a baking sheet and freeze while preparing
2. Heat oven to 180°C.
3. Peel, quarter and core the apples.
4. Put the sugar in a flameproof 20cm dish or a 20cm
ovenproof heavy-based frying pan and place over a medium-high heat. Cook the
sugar for 5-7 mins to a dark amber caramel syrup that’s starting to smoke, then
turn off the heat and stir in the 60g diced chilled butter.
5. To assemble the Tarte Tatin, arrange the apple quarters
very tightly in a circle around the edge of the dish first, rounded-side down,
then fill in the middle in a similar fashion. Gently press with your hands to
ensure there are no gaps. Brush the fruit with the melted butter.
6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove and place
the disc of frozen puff pastry on top – it will quickly defrost. Tuck the edges
down the inside of the dish and, with a knife, prick a few holes in the pastry
to allow steam to escape.
7. Bake for a further 40-45 mins until the pastry is golden
brown and crisp.
8. Allow to cool to room temperature for 1 hour before
running a knife around the edge of the dish and inverting it onto a large
serving plate that is deep enough to contain the juices.
9. Serve with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.