SOMETHING FOR THE COLD WINTER
This recipe is just fantastic and so easy it's worth trying. I am not a kitchen snob and my favourite grater is still the one without a handle, but when it comes to this dessert I bow to the greatness of Le Creuset and use their enamel coated cast iron Tatin dish. Mine is a 30cm diameter dish and this recipe fits it perfectly. But if you have a smaller dish (20-25cm), this recipe can easily be halved.
If you're having a whole bunch of people over for lunch you can take the pressure off and make the pastry the day before and then the rest is a doddle.
FOR THE PASTRY
300g flour, plus extra for dusting
50g castor sugar
4 egg yolks
FOR THE APPLES
200g unrefined castor sugar
10 ripe Golden Delicious apples: peeled, cored and quartered
<Optional> a few fresh rosemary needles
TO MAKE THE PASTRY
Grate the butter into the flour and sugar and rub together to form crumbs.
Add the egg yolks and with a round edge knife mix together and then press to make a smooth ball with your hands. Dust with flour if you need to.
Wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
FOR THE APPLES
Place your ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and melt the butter and sugar until syrupy. The butter will sort of separate from the caramel.
Heat the oven to 200°C.
Arrange the apples quarters (and rosemary, if using) in the frying pan and cook for 15 minutes: this gives the golden colour to the apples and allows the sugar to turn to caramel.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a size slightly greater than the frying pan.
Remove the frying pan from the heat and quickly lay the pastry over the apples, tucking in any excess around the edges.
Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160°C and cook for a further 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and gently ease a knife all the way around the edge of the tart.
Place a large heatproof plate upside down on top of the frying pan and quickly turn over the pan and plate, releasing the tart on to the plate.
Lift off the frying pan to reveal golden brown apples and a syrupy sauce.