Spiced Pink Lady Tarte Tatin
Ready in: 60 mins +
"The right pan is the secret to making a perfect tarte tatin. It should be really heaby, preferably iron or copper, with straight or almost straight sides and about 22-24cm wide. The rest is easy"
Ingredients:2kg Pink Lady apples
juice of 2 lemons
125g unsalted butter, slightly soft
125g caster sugar
1 nutmeg, finely grated
200g puff pastry
- Put the lemon juice in the base of a large pudding basin or similar shaped bowl with a couple of tablespoons of water. Peel and halve the apples, remove the cores with a teaspoon and roll the halves in the juice.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/400F/Gas 7. Smear the butter generously all over the base and sides of your cold pan. Sprinkle the sugar on the top and shake to ensure it is evenly distributed.
- Crush the heads of the cloves and sprinkle over the sugar, together with the finely grated nutmeg. Drain the lemon juice from the apples and arrange them, standing on their sides, in concentric circles, embedding them in the butter/sugar mix. Pack the apples in as tight as you can then put the pan on hob, on the fiercest heat you have.
- While keeping an eye on the pan, roll out the puff pastry into a disc 2cm wider than the rim of the pan. Let rest on a sheet of greaseproof paper on a plate in the fridge. Watch the sides of the pan very closely. You are looking for a good rich caramel colour to develop. Move the pan around on the flame to ensure the caramelisation is evenly distributed. Keep going until it turns a rich deep toffee colour (takes from ten to twenty minutes, depending on the pan and the heat).
- When the pan has cooled a little, after five minutes or so, drop the disc of pastry onto the apples and let the edges hang over the sides of the pan. Place the pan in a pre-heated oven (220C/425F/Gas 7) and bake for fifteen minutes, or until the pastry is nicely risen.
- Remove from the oven and rest for a minute. Then place an inverted plate, slightly bigger than the pan, over the top. With your left hand firmly in place over the plate, grip the handle with an equally firm right hand and a cloth. With a determined turn of the wrist, turn the pan over so the plate is underneath. Lower the plate and pan onto a steady surface, pause a moment, and then lift off the pan. If things are not as perfect as they might be, simply grab a palette knife and shape the apples into place. This might include a bit of scraping around in the pan, gathering up some residual bits of apple and caramel, to create your masterpiece. Serve warm, with a bit of double cream or vanilla ice cream.