Mathew Evans Tart Tatin
Recipe Sourced from Eat Love www.eatlove.com.au
"This incredible dish, made famous by the Tatin sisters from Lamotte Beauvron in France, is the essence of technique. You simply caramelise the apples, cover with pastry, bake, then invert and serve upside down. The more you do it, the better you get at it."
40 grams butter
1.2 kg (golden delicious apples
100 grams sugar
3 tablespoons water
400 grams pâte brisée (short crust pastry)
Heat the butter in a very wide heavy-based ovenproof frying pan, about 30 cm (12 inch) wide, over low heat. I have a dedicated cast-iron tatin pan that I carted around France in a mad moment. But in the town where the sisters made the cake famous, they use any old frying pan, then put the caramelised apples in a spring-form cake tin. If you are going for the tin option, grease a 30 cm (12 inch) spring-form cake tin to transfer the apple into before topping with pastry.
Add the apples to the pan, cut side down, and cook really slowly until they have caramelised. You may not fit them all in the pan at the start, but you can take a couple out once they soften and squeeze more in, then return them all to the pan. Sprinkle the sugar over the apples, then turn them over and cook the other side, splashing in some water if needed to make the caramel. This whole process may take about 1 hour, though probably slightly less. Cook until the sugar starts to caramelise and the apple is cooked through — the water will slow the sugar caramelising. I like to add a bit of water just at the end to soften the caramel, too.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Roll the pastry into a circle with a 30 cm (12 inch) diameter to fit the pan, about 5 mm (¼ inch) thick all over. Cover the apple with the rolled-out pastry so it covers the apples completely and tuck in the edges. Bake in the oven for about 20–30 minutes, or until the pastry is well browned. As you remove the pan from the oven, gently invert the tart immediately over a plate or platter (the caramel will be hot, so be careful).
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and glass of Pfeiffer Late Harvest Muscadelle.