The trick with the Tarte Tatin is to flip it onto your serving plate a) without burning yourself, and b) keeping the Tarte Tatin intact. Having seen a few messy fails, Trota really wanted to get it right this time so she enlisted Fidget.
Apricot Tarte Tatin
The story of the Tatin sisters’ masterpiece is well known, but most recipes use puff pastry. Now, the Rowes not being big on puff pastry, Trota looked for an alternative. She came across this recipe on the BBC Food website (Valentine Warner) and decided to give it a whirl.
Oh, and traditionally Tarte Tatin uses apples, but with stunning apricots very much in season Trota had no doubt about her choice of fruit…
There are two parts to this recipe: the fruit topping and the pastry. You will also need a shallow pan about 25cm Ø, suitable for both hob and oven (no plastic handles, no non-stick surfaces).
Start with the pastry: 235g plain flour, pinch of salt, 170g chilled unsalted butter cut into cubes, 50g caster sugar, 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water, 1 tbsp brown sugar. In a food processor blend the flour, salt, butter and caster sugar until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Then, with the motor running, add the egg mixture a little at a time until it all comes together as a dough (you may not need to use all the egg).
Place the pastry between two sheets of baking paper and flatten with a rolling pin to make a disk of about 25cm Ø.Set aside.
For the fruit topping you will need 100g caster sugar, 50ml water, 45g butter, 8–10 medium apricots (cut in half, stones removed). Warm the sugar and water in the pan over a low heat for 3–5min until the sugar has dissolved and resembles syrup. Increase the heat and simmer until it starts caramelising (turning brown). Do not stir – just swirl the pan to mix well. Be careful: hot sugar can burn badly, so do not be tempted to touch or taste. Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter and swirl again to blend until the mixture is thick and smooth.
Place the apricots (cut side down) in the butter/sugar mixture to line the base of the pan. Cover the apricots with the pastry disk, tucking the edges of the pastry inside the pan with a palette knife. Prick the pastry with a fork and sprinkle with brown sugar.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for 25–30min at 200°/gas 6 until the pastry is golden brown and the apricots are bubbling underneath. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside for 5min. When it has cooled slightly, go around with the palette knife, place a large serving plate over it and (using oven gloves) invert the Tarte Tatin into the plate. Et voilà, les jeux sont faits.
Served hot or cold, this is delicious with home-made vanilla ice cream. Fidget was glad he’d been practicing his catching skills!