It isn't particularly difficult but does benefit from a caring touch and practise.
This delicious tart should be attempted, practised and perfected. It is an absolute winner and has been since its probably mythical invention by the Tatin sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline in the 1880’s.
- 1 sheet ready-rolled butter puff pastry, just thawed (see Note)
- 6-7 large, new-season fuji or delicious apples
- 150 g cold unsalted butter, chopped
- 230 g caster sugar
- 1 orange, juiced
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.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut out a rough 26-27 cm circle from the pastry, place on a tray and refrigerate until required.
- Peel and halve the apples. Use a melon baller to remove the core.
- Place a 23 cm heavy-based, ovenproof frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the butter and sugar and cook, shaking the pan regularly, until a dark, golden caramel forms. Add the orange juice and swirl to amalgamate.
- Place the apples, round side down, around the outside of the pan, overlapping them until you complete the circle. Fill the middle, crowding the apples into the pan as much as possible. You may need to add another or just a half.
- Working quickly (as the heat will melt the pastry), place the pastry disc on top of the apples, tucking the sides around the outside of the apples like you were tucking in a blanket. Prick half a dozen holes in the pastry.
- Bake for 45–60 minutes or until the pastry is dark golden. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes.
- Place a large serving platter with a lip on top of the pan. With one hand on the base of the platter, use your other hand to pick up the pan and carefully flip it over. Lift off the pan being aware of the hot caramel that may ensue.
• I used Careme ready rolled puff pastry for this recipe, but you could use any other good quality butter puff pastry.
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