Tarte tartin (French caramel apple pie)

Tarte tatin

250g puff pastry
75g soft butter

175g caster sugar
750g firm apples
Vanilla ice cream

Roll out the pastry on lightly floured surface and cut out a 26cm disc, slightly larger than the top of a 20cm tarte tartin dish or reliably non stick cast iron frying pan. Transfer to a baking sheet and chill for at least 20 minutes.
Spread the butter over the base of the tarte tartin dish it frying pan, and sprinkle over the sugar in a thick, even layer.
Peel, core and halve the apples, trimming them very slightly if necessary to fit but keeping the sugar. Place the tarte tartin dish or frying pan over a medium heat and cook for 20/25 minutes, gently shaking the pan now and then, until the butter and sugar have amalgamated with the apple juices to produce a rich toffee colored sauce and the apples are just tender. At first the caramel will be pale and liquid from the juices from the apples, but as you keep on cooking the juices will evaporate and the butter and sugar will become darker and thicker. Just take care that the butter and sugar are not allowed to burn.
Preheat the oven to 190C. Lift the pastry top of the apples and tuck the edges down inside the pan. Prick the pastry 5 or 6 times with a tip of a knife. Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the tarte from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge and invert it onto a round flat serving plate.
Serve warm with ice cream or cream fraîche.





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