Wonderfully tart Grannysmith apples provide a nice contrast to a sweet caramel and the perfect pastry to encase it all
Having spent a few days in Paris, there was no shortage of pastries which I tried. I tried many variants from macarons to choux and entremets to flan. What surprised me the most however, was how delicious a well made apple tarte tatin could be.
I am not a massive fan of desserts which contain apples, but this is one of a few exceptions. Ottolenghi’s apple cake being another firm favourite.
Done right, I prefer the apple to have a slight bite to it, and the caramel to be deep enough to not be sickly sweet. The right amount of sweet, bitter and tart make for an interesting taste bud experience. What is equally important however is a thin layer of flaky puff pastry, which provides a nice crispness to the soft, sticky apples.
I adapted this recipe from Julie Jones Pastry School.
FOR THE TARTE TATIN
- 400g ready-made puff pastry, thawed
- 6-8 granny smith apples
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 30g butter, melted and 50g butter, cubed
- 100g castor sugar and 1 Tbsp castor sugar
- 50ml water
- 3 star anise
- egg wash, 1 egg yolk and 2 Tbsp milk
- Pre-heat the oven to 180° Celsius.
- Use baking paper to line the base of a 20cm oven-safe skillet or tarte tatin pan.
- Peel the apples, core out the center and cut them into quarters.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of castor sugar, the lemon juice and the lemon zest onto the apples. Toss together and set aside.
- Add 100g of castor sugar, water and the star anise to the pan and set on medium heat.
- Heat until the sugar melts and turns a golden amber colour. Do not stir the caramel – instead swirl the pan around.
- Once the caramel is amber, add in 50g of cubed butter and whisk vigorously to combine.
- Pour the caramel into the lined skillet / tarte tatin pan.
- Arrange the apples in the skillet, starting from the outside and moving in.
- Add the vanilla bean paste to the 30g of melted butter and brush over the apples.
- Bake the apples in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they begin to soften but retain some bite.
- Whilst the apples are baking, roll out your puff pastry and cut into a 23cm circle. Place it into the fridge until needed.
- Remove the apples from the oven and let them rest for 30 minutes to cool.
- Place the pastry over the apples and use the back of a spoon to tuck the pastry into the corners.
- Make a small X in the middle of the pastry to allow steam to escape.
- Brush the pastry with egg wash.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before flipping the tarte tatin onto a plate so the caramelized apples are on top. Be careful with this as there might be some loose caramel that is still hot.
Recipe by adventureswithsugar.com