Tarte tatin with rosemary & toasted almonds

This classic dessert carries the name of the two famous Tatin sisters who invented the recipe. Everybody loves it, I think, because of the smell of warm apple mixed with caramel, and the delicious crunchiness of the light pastry. Just add the contrast of cold crème fraîche or ice cream and you have one  of the most fabulous yet simple desserts on the planet. Personally, I like it with a touch of rosemary – when you open the oven door you are enveloped in the incredible perfume of rosemary-scented apples. It’s a miracle worth waiting for!

 

Preparation time 15 minutes, plus chilling
Cooking time 1 hour

220g ready-made puff pastry
plain flour, for dusting
120g caster sugar
40g unsalted butter
1 rosemary sprig, leaves only, roughly chopped
3–4 apples such as Cox, Reinette or Golden Delicious, peeled, quartered and cored
a large pinch of toasted flaked almonds, plus extra for sprinkling
crème fraîche, to serve

✱ Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, then cut out a circle slightly bigger than the size of a 20cm/8in flameproof baking or tatin dish. Roll the pastry over the rolling pin and place the pastry on a baking sheet, cover with clingfilm and chill for 25–30 minutes. This will prevent the pastry from shrinking during cooking.

✱ Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Melt the sugar gently in the baking or tatin dish over a medium heat until golden brown, remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Sprinkle about a quarter of the rosemary leaves over.

✱ Arrange the apples tightly along the edge of the baking or tatin dish in a circle, then make smaller circles of tightly fitted apples within this circle until the based is covered and all the apples are used. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.

✱ Remove from the oven, sprinkle the remaining rosemary and toasted flaked almonds over the apples and place the pastry on top, pushing the edges into the dish. Return the tin to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.

✱ Remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Put an upsidedown plate the size of the dish on top of the tart and, holding both the plate and dish, flip to unmould onto the plate and sprinkle with extra almonds.

✱ Et voilà – a perfect tarte tatin with rosemary. Enjoy while warm.

 

Exerpt. from the French Brasserie Cookbook and originally published in FrenchEntrée Magazine