You know a few years ago I hardly ever ate dessert. It just wasn’t something I was into. I never saw the appeal of ice cream, tarts or cooked fruit. Exceptions were made for chocolate based desserts of course. Over the last couple of years I’ve been slowly converted to the dessert cause and now its one of the main reasons I have to do so much exercise!
I absolutely adore warm apple tarts with cold vanilla ice cream. A great tarte tatin with caramelised apples and crisp pastry is a cause of much delight especially when it’s served hot with a great big lump of ice cream melting all over it. When I received a copy of Michelle Roux’s Pastry for my birthday recently this had to be the first recipe I tried.
Well I say that I tried his recipe but there were two problems. First I didn’t actually have the inclination to spend a day making puff pastry so I just bought some. Which is not really the point of using a recipe from a book about pastry but I promise I’ll get round to doing it properly sometime. Secondly the recipe calls for caramelising the apples in an oven proof frying pan with the pastry on top before sticking the pan in the oven. I don’t have an oven proof pan.
I came up with a cunning plan to get around the lack of an oven proof pan. I decided if I caramelised the apples with a pan lid on then carefully transferred everything into a small roasting dish it would work. Happily it did, kind of. A rectangular tarte tatin isn’t perhaps as aesthetically pleasing as a circular one and I’m sure the whole thing would have cooked better if it was done the classic way but as far as a fudge goes it was pretty successful. The most important thing was that it tasted amazing!
3 small apples, peeled, cored and halved
100g butter, softened
80g caster sugar
Spread the butter onto the bottom of a small pan in a thick layer and sprinkle over the sugar.
Lay the apples round side down on the sugar.
If you’re pan is oven-proof then roll out the pastry and cut out a circle 2cm larger than the pan.
Prick the apple side of the pastry repeatedly with a fork then gently place the pastry over the apples.
Leave the pan in the fridge for 20 mins.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
After 20 mins put the pan on a medium heat and cook for about 10 mins until the butter and sugar has caramelised.
During the cooking if you haven’t put the pastry on at this point a small pot lid should be used to cover the pan.
Lift the pastry/lid during cooking to check it’s caramelising evenly and once it’s light brown all around take it off the heat.
Now if you can, put the pan into the oven otherwise carefully transfer the apples to a small roasting dish along with the caramel and gently place the pastry on top.
Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is cooked.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.