Recipe 21: A triumph – tarte tatin

Albert Bridge in sunny London

Albert Bridge in sunny London

Bonjour everyone, I hope you’re well on this particular sunny day in London town! I for one took the opportunity this weekend to venture to Haringay Market in N1 to see what all the fuss was about, and let me just say, if you get the chance, GO! 

For ages I had wanted to visit due to the array of street food, baked goods and organic produce that is on offer but it definitely something you should experience for yourself. It took us about 50 minutes to get there from where I live (near Wimbledon) but the journey was worth it. I was particularly keen to sample the famous salt beef from The Bell & Brisket; I didn’t take a picture but it consisted of a beautiful bagel filled with salt beef, mustard, gherkins and picked cabbage – PHWOARRRRR. Other than that, a large amount of pear juice was bought/consumed, fresh carrots with their stems (of which I will be using for pesto), free-range eggs and artisan bread. Delightful!

Aside from this wonderful adventure, I wanted to share with you something I made recently from Mary’s Baking Bible. I was incredibly nervous making this; I was aware that it could go dreadfully wrong, a real mess on the plate that just collapsed if I turned it over. HOWEVER you beautiful people, that did not happen! So therefore, it goes without saying, if I can do it – so can you. I did do something a bit differently to Mary though:

  • Instead of using a sandwich tin as suggested, I bought a tart tatin tin for the purpose of the caramel. While using a saucepan worked in part to achieving the colour of the caramel, pouring it into the tarte tatin dish and putting it on the hob worked much better, so I would recommend that. 
  • I didn’t make the crunchy topping as it just turned into what resembled tarmac – no worries! The pastry had a crunch to it anyway.

I used a combination of cox apples and granny smiths – do not use cooking apples as they will disintegrate during cooking and you won’t achieve that gorgeous look on the top once you’ve turned it over. DSC_1252

Ingredients (for the pastry)

  • 100 g self raising flour
  • 50 g diced butter
  • 1 tbsp sifted icing sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • A few scant tbsp cold water

Ingredients (for the topping)

  • 900 g dessert apples (or 4 cox, 3 granny smith) 
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 75 g butter
  • 75 g demerara sugar

Method

  1. Prepare the pastry first (unless you’re using ready-made, in which case, I’d skip this bit!). Add the butter, flour and icing sugar to a large bowl and rub together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and the water (enough to bring it together) to become firm but not sticky. Knead lightly, then wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill. 
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180 fan/gas mark 6.
  3. Peel, core and slice the apples (try and get them to be of a similar width). Put them into a bowl and sprinkle the lemon juice and rind on top (this prevents them from going brown…ahh! How clever!)
  4. Add the butter and sugar to a pan and heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Pour into the base of a 9in sandwich tin (or tarte tatin dish). If your sugar hasn’t completely dissolved, if you feel your dish is suitable, put it onto the hob for about 45 seconds – it should bubble and caramelise.DSC_1243
  6. Arrange a single layer of the best sliced apples in a circular pattern over the mixture. Then cover with the remainder of the apple slices.DSC_1247
  7. Roll out your lovely pastry and use to cover the apples. When placing over the top, tuck it in (don’t read it a story) but tuck it down so that you’ll achieve the tarte tatin look that we are all familiar with. DSC_1248
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-35 minutes; until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.
  9. IF THIS WORKS FOR YOU: tip the juices from the cake tin into a small pan. Boil the juices to reduce to a syrupy caramel and pour over the top of the apple.
  10. Turn the tart out onto a plate, with the pastry now on the bottom. Enjoy and marvel at the wonder you have created!

Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 21.30.10

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