Cox’s apples are considered by many to be the finest of the English varieties of dessert apple and, as such, they make an excellent choice for a tarte Tatin. As well as being naturally sweet, the flesh has a light acidity that works really well with the wonderful caramel sauce and rich, buttery pastry. If you can’t get hold of Cox’s, use your favourite dessert apples instead, but choose ones that are not overly sweet.
– 5 Cox’s Orange Pippin dessert apples, peeled, quartered and cored
– 200g caster sugar
– 50g butter
– 350–400g ready-made all-butter puff pastry
– Plain flour, for dusting
– Vanilla or cinnamon ice cream, to serve
1. Put the apple quarters in a single layer on kitchen paper on a baking tray, then place them, uncovered, in the fridge and leave to dry out overnight. The apples will go brown, which is correct. This draws out the moisture and concentrates the flavour.
2. The next day, preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.
3. Put the sugar into a large saucepan with 50ml of water. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved, then increase the heat to medium and continue to cook, without stirring, until the mixture caramelises and becomes a rich, dark colour, 12–15 minutes.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and let the bubbles subside. Carefully place the apple quarters in the hot pan, give them a quick stir with a wooden spoon, then return to the heat. Cook over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes.
5. Add the butter to the pan, stir to mix with the caramel and cook for a further 4–5 minutes. The apples will now be almost cooked but should still hold their shape. If not, cook for another minute or two. Remove from the heat and cool for a minute or so.
6. Take a large 23cm ovenproof frying pan or a tarte Tatin tin, measuring 23cm diameter x 4.5cm deep (see Tip) and arrange the caramelised apples in the pan or tin in circles, cut sides down.
7. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick and, using a plate slightly larger than the top of the pan, cut out a large circle. Place the pastry circle over the apples and tuck it in around the inside edges of the pan. Pierce the pastry a few times with the tip of a sharp knife. Pour the caramel left in the saucepan into a measuring jug, then drizzle some of it around the edge of the pastry into the apples until it is visible just below the level of the pastry. Reserve the remaining caramel sauce for later. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until the pastry is risen, crisp and golden.
8. Remove from the oven, leave to stand in the pan for about 5 minutes, then loosen the sides and carefully invert the tart onto a serving plate with a rim (to catch the juices), so the apples are facing up. Drizzle with any leftover caramel, cut into wedges and serve with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.
Tip: You can make four individual tartes Tatin, if you prefer. Use four individual 12cm ovenproof frying pans and arrange the caramelised apples in the pans, dividing evenly. Using 500g puff pastry, cut out four smaller pastry circles to fit the pans, then place over the apples and continue as above. Bake the individual tarts for 15–20 minutes.
Gordon Ramsay OBE is a multi Michelin starred chef, restaurateur and television personality. Ramsay’s restaurants range from casual dining to haute cuisine, with 16 Michelin stars in total.
The Bread Street Kitchen aims to allow the home cook produce restaurant worthy dishes at home. From breakfast to dinner and everything in between, this is a collection of 100 fresh new recipes from Gordon Ramsay and the award-winning team at Bread Street Kitchen. Like the restaurant itself, the book is all about relaxed and sociable eating, using fresh ingredients, simple techniques all delivered with the signature Gordon Ramsay stamp so that you know it’s going to be good.
Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay is published by Hodder & Stoughton Publishers 2016 and is available to buy here.