Spiced Apple Tart Tatin by Adam Byatt

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Spiced Apple Tart Tatin

Makes 1 tart

Puff pastry

110g salted butter, softened

130g caster sugar

1 star anise

1 vanilla pod, split

3 Pink Lady apples, peeled, halved with seeds and core scooped out

Roll the puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Rest in the fridge for 40mins.

Slice the butter and put in the bottom of a heavy-based Aga (oven proof) pan. Add the sugar, the whole star anise and the vanilla pod. Place the apple halves, curved side down, in the butter and sugar. Cut out a disc of puff pastry the same size as the outer diameter of the pan. Prick it all over with a fork and place the pastry over the apples, tucking it in gently round the apples. Leave to rest in the fridge for 20mins. Preheat the oven to 170c. Place the pan on the stove over a gentle heat and allow the butter and sugar to caramelize. When the caramel has turned a light butterscotch colour, allow the tart to cool for 10mins before placing the pan in the oven for 25mins, checking after the first 10mins. Bake until the pastry is cooked, the apples are soft and the caramel has reached a rich dark brown shade.