Tarte Tatin

The tarte Tatin was created accidentally at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, about 100 miles (160 km) south of Paris, in the 1880s.The hotel was run by two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin. It is an upside-down pastry in which the apples are caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked.

Simple Tarte Tatin

Ingredients:

6 Firm Eating Apples
70g Sugar
60g butter
Ready-made Butter Puff Pastry

Method:

Pre heat the oven to 180ºC.

Roll out the pastry and cut a circle that is just a little larger than your pan.

Peel and core all the apples and cut into slices.

Melt the butter in the bottom of a heavy-based pan (a small cast iron frying pan is ideal) over a low heat. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the sugar, then spread the sugar + butter mixture over the bottom of the pan. Place the apple slices on top of the sugar + butter mixture, working around the edge of the pan so that each slice overlaps. Fill the centre with another round of the apple. Keep a few slices to one side. Now return the pan to the hob and bring to a fast boil. Cook for around 8-10 minutes until the sugar syrup starts to caramelise. Turn each slice over, keeping the design. Use the reserved apple slices to fill in any gaps. Cook for a further 5-8 minutes till the apples start to soften and the caramel is a deep golden colour. Top the mixture with the pastry and fold the edges over pushing them down around the rim of the pan.

Put the tart in the oven and bake for around half an hour till the pastry is golden brown. Take the pan out and allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edge of the pan. Turn out upside down onto a plate.

Serve with clotted cream or extra thick double cream.

Here is a variation on the classic Tart Tartin. This variation is more like a cake than the classic pastry tart but also delicious.

Pear Tartin

Ingredients:

4 Williams pears
4 tablespoons honey

Cake mixture:

150g unsalted butter
2 eggs
200g runny honey
200g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
butter for greasing

Pre-heat oven 180ºC / Gas 4.

Line a 24cm loose bottomed baking tin with parchment.

Method:

Peel and poach the pears and cut them into slices.

Put the honey into a heavy based saucepan and leave to boil gently until it turns slightly darker in colour, pour immediately into the lined baking tin. Arrange the pear slices into the caramelised honey.

For the cake mixture.

In a bowl beat the butter until very soft and fluffy. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and honey for around 10 minutes until pale and creamy. Mix in the flour and baking powder and finally fold in the softened butter. Pour this mixture over the pears and bake for approximately 50 minutes. Leave to cool for a while before turning out onto a cake plate upside down. Can be served warm or cold.

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