A classic French dessert with dark and sticky caramel, sweet apples and crisp pastry - all cooked in the one pan. It may sound fancy, but this caramelised apple tarte tan is actually very easy to make.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
- 120g unsalted butter
- 8 fuji or pink ladies
- 1 sheet shortcrust pastry
- Plain flour for dusting
- Crème fraiche to serve
- Peel, core and quarter apples. Set aside.
- Place a 25cm heavy-based, oven-proof skillet over low heat and add the sugar. Cook, tilting pan occasionally, until sugar has melted and turned a golden colour — do not stir. Add vanilla seeds and 80 g butter to the caramel, swirl to combine well and remove from heat.
- Place apples into the pan, rounded side down and tightly packed — starting from the outside and working into the centre like a flower. Dot with remaining butter, return to low heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until apples are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife and the caramel bubbling around the apples is dark and rich.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 190° C
- Remove pan from stove and roll the pastry on a lightly floured surface until slightly larger than the skillet. Place pastry on top of apples and use a spoon to tuck it down around the edges like a blanket.
- Place skillet in oven and bake 20 mins until pastry is golden — you may want to set a baking sheet pan on a lower rack to catch any caramel that bubbles over the edge of the pastry.
- Remove tart from oven and leave to cool for about an hour, this is an important step to allow the apple to release from the base of the pan. Return to the stove for a minute or two to just warm the caramel, place a large plate over the pastry then turn upside down. Shake the pan slightly and lift off of the tart.
- Slice and serve.