A dark and sticky sweet treat accompanied by perfectly crisp pastry. According to legend, tarte Tatin was invented by mistake in the 1880s, when a hotelier tried to disguise a burnt apple tart.
- 10 granny smith apples, peeled and quartered
- 250 g caster sugar
- 100 g unsalted butter, chopped
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways
- 300 g block butter puff pastry
- 500 ml (2 cups) milk
- 500 ml (2 cups) cream
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 80 g caster sugar
- 250 g egg yolks (about 13 eggs)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling/freezing time: 1 hour
Wine pairing: Penfolds Father Grand Tawny, 10 YO (serve slightly chilled, 12-14 degrees Celsius)
1. For the cinnamon ice-cream, place the milk, cream, cinnamon and 30 g sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to just below boiling point. Place the egg yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale. Whisking continuously, gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. Transfer to a clean pan and stir over medium-low heat for 7-8 minutes or until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, strain through a fine sieve placed over a bowl sitting in a larger bowl of ice and stand until cool, whisking occasionally. Refrigerate until chilled, then churn in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions. Freeze until firm.
2. Meanwhile, using a melon baller, remove the core, tip and bottom from each apple quarter. Scatter the sugar over the base of a shallow, heavy-based 30 cm oven proof frying pan. Scatter with the chopped butter and place the vanilla bean halves in the middle. Arrange the apples very tightly in a single layer but slightly overlapping to cover the base of the pan. Cook over medium heat, gently shaking the pan occasionally for 40 minutes or until the sugar becomes a dark caramel and the apples are soft. Remove from the heat, stand the apples in the pan until cool, then transfer the pan to the refrigerator and stand until cold.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 35 cm disc. Carefully place the rolled puff pastry over the cooled apples in the pan, tucking the pastry between the apple and the edge of pan as if you were tucking in a blanket. Using a small, sharp knife, cut 2 slits in the middle of the pastry to allow some steam to escape. Place the pan over high heat. When the caramel starts to bubble, transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and stand for 15 minutes, then carefully invert onto a serving plate. Serve with cinnamon ice-cream.
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