29 September, 2008

September recipe: Caramel apple tart

This is a variation on the classic French dessert Tarte Tatin, but I hesitate to call it that in case it’s a protected regional name (I’d rather not be escorted to the border next time I go cycling in Normandy). It’s a good way to use up windfall dessert apples, if you happen to have an apple tree or know someone who does.

Don’t be put off by the terrifying prospect of having to turn the tart out of its baking tin. If you think about it, it’s actually the easiest kind of tart to turn out because the pastry is on the top when it's cooked and therefore it’s not going to stick to the tin and break. The worst that can happen is that the one or two of the apples stick, in which case you just scrape them out and put them back in their approximate place on top of the tart. No-one will ever know, especially once the tart is covered in caramel sauce. Just don’t let anyone watch you.

Caramel apple tart

Serves 4–6.

3 oz (approx 75 g) plain flour
3/4 oz (approx 20 g) butter
3/4 oz (approx 20 g) lard

Approximately 1 lb (approx 450 g) eating apples
3 oz (approx 75 g) butter
2 oz (approx 50 g) light brown soft sugar
1 oz (approx 25 g) dark muscovado sugar
1 Tablespoon (1 x 15 ml spoon) honey

Grease a 7” (approx 18 cm) diameter sandwich tin.
Rub the butter and lard into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Mix with a small amount of water until it forms a dough.
(Or you can use ready-made shortcrust pastry if you prefer).
Roll out to a circle approximately 1” (approx 2.5 cm) bigger in diameter than the sandwich tin.

Cut the apples into segments and remove the cores (and any damaged parts if using windfalls), but don’t peel them.
Heat the butter, sugar and honey gently in a medium saucepan until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved.
Add the apple segments and cook for two or three minutes.
Remove from the heat. Fish the apple segments out, leaving most of the sauce in the pan, and arrange them skin side down in the sandwich tin.
Put the pastry on top of the apples, and tuck the edges down between the apples and the sides of the tin,
Bake in a moderately hot oven at about 180 C for about 25–30 minutes until the pastry is set and golden.
Remove from the oven, and loosen the pastry all round the edges of the tin using a pie slice or a blunt table knife. Leave to cool in the tin for 5–10 minutes.
Loosen the pastry all round the edges again.
Place a large plate (bigger than the sandwich tin) on top of the tin. Hold the plate and tin together and invert them so that the plate is underneath and the tin is on top. Lift the tin gently, and the apple tart will fall out of the tin onto the plate with the pastry on the bottom and the apples on the top. (Honest, it will). If it’s inclined to stick, give the tin a gentle tap. If any of the apple segments have stuck to the tin, scrape them out and put them in their approximate places on top of the pastry.
Reheat the caramel sauce and pour over the tart to serve.
Serve with cream, whipped cream, natural yoghurt or ice cream.

The tart can be eaten warm or cold, but the sauce is always best if reheated. It will keep for two or three days at room temperature.

I expect to get six slices out of this recipe, but it depends how big a slice you like.


Constance Brewer said...

That looks rather deadly. I'm getting a sugar rush just looking at it. *g*

Sarah Cuthbertson said...

Looks and sounds delicious, Carla. I'm always looking for recipes for apples at this time of year - we have loads from our trees. So I'll be making this tart for the family any minute now - thanks!

Jules Frusher said...

That looks dangerously yummy - I think that I may just have to make one!

Carla said...

Constance - it's not as sugary as all that :-)

Sarah - yes, I'm always on the lookout for apple recipes at this time of year, for the same reason! Any type of eating apple seems to work. Hope you enjoy it!

Lady D - If you do, hope you enjoy it!