This french famous apple dessert require the right kind of apple; you don’t want to get a mushy or too juicy kind of apple as the fruit must hold its shape throughout the cooking process. After experimenting in my kitchen, I find the best technique for the caramel is to make it separately first, and my quick & easy shortcrust pastry recipe will spare you from the usual overnight process.
Serves 2 (makes 2 small tatins)
Prep: 10 min Cook: 30 min Total: 40 min
150g plain flour, sifted
75g unsalted butter, diced and at room temperature
1 small pinch of salt
½ tbsp caster sugar
35 ml lukewarm water
Extra flour for rolling the dough.
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
Juice of half lemon
Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F.
1- Prepare the apples: Peel, core, and cut apple into medium-thick slices. Add a little lemon juice to prevent from browning. Set aside.
2- Make the shortcrust pastry: In a mixing bowl, add the butter, sugar, salt and flour. Mix well with your hands and pour water gradually to form a soft dough. Shape it into a ball. Sprinkle some flour on clean surface and roll dough with rolling-pin. It should be about 1/2 cm thick. Cut out a circle slightly larger than the diameter of the tart pan, large enough to cover apples. Score circle all over with the tip of a sharp knife or a fork.
3- Make the caramel: Cook sugar in small saucepan over medium heat until it dissolves and turns golden brown. Stir in butter and vanilla bean seeds. Pour into ovenproof tatin pans.
4- Build and cook tatins: Arrange apple slices in concentric circles over caramel. Place pastry over apples, pressing it down gently in the side to cover apples. Transfer pans to oven and bake for about 25 to 30 min or until puff pastry turns golden brown and caramel is bubbling. Out of the oven, give the tatin a few minutes to cool down a little. Then turn taste out onto a serving plate.
Enjoy with a some creme fraiche or simply on its own!