This recipe needs patience – you can make 2 small tart tatins or one large (30cm round).
170g plain flour
3tsp caster sugar
2 large egg yolk
1tbs cold water
300g caster sugar
10 medium sized apples (golden delicious, laxton, pippen, Worcester are best)
1tsp lemon juice mixed with 1tbs water (optional)
- First make the pastry. Rub the butter into the flour, add the sugar and mix. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, work together to form a ball, adding water if required. Leave to rest in the fridge – overnight is ideal, 2 hours is the minimum. If the pastry has been in the fridge overnight, remove 30 minutes before using.
- Peel the apples, cut into quarters and core. Slice each quarter into thin slices. You may want to use a tiny bit of lemon juice mixed with water to stop the slices from browning.
- In a pan / heavy bottomed tin that can be used on top of the stove and in the oven (30cm ish diameter for a large one), gently melt the butter. Add all the sugar and stir in. Once all butter absorbed, spread mixture evenly over the base of the pan.
- Remove from heat and layer the thinly sliced apples over the base (it looks best if you layer them in overlapping circles). You may end up with 4 layers.
- Return to the top of the stove with the lowest heat you can achieve.
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6
- Allow to cook gently for up to 1 hour on top of the stove. The apples are ready when they become translucent. Care needs to be taken not to burn the sugar during this process – the liquid wants to be a gentle caramel colour. Depending on the apples, you may find it helpful to cover the pan for the first 30 minutes or so. Once the apples are cooked there may be some liquid (syrup) in the pan, this is fine.
- Whilst the apples are cooking roll the pastry into a circle which will cover the pan (a little bit larger is fine). The pastry may be very crumbly – just mould it together. If the apples are not ready once this has been done, place disc, covered with cling film in fridge.
- As soon as the apples are cooked, turn off heat and carefully place the pastry disc over the apples – if too large fold excess over to create an edge.
- Place in oven for 20 – 30 minutes. The pastry wants to be golden and cooked through.
- As soon as you remove from the oven, the tart needs to be turned out. I use a large plate, place it on top of the pan and very carefully, but quickly turn it over. Leave the pan on top of the plate for a couple of minutes and then carefully lift the pan off. If any apple slices are left in the pan, carefully remove and return to the tart. A bit of syrup may leak out – this is fine the pastry will absorb it.
This is best served warm with fresh double cream or crème fraiche..
It keeps for at least 5 days (if you can resist not eating it all), and it freezes well.