This delicious rustic and easy twist on the traditional Tarte Tatin is quite a find. You won't need a fancy ovenproof pan as you would with most Tatin recipes, a cake tin does the job just as well. Nor will you need to take the time to make the puff pastry from scratch, for ready made is really where it's at with this recipe. What a gorgeous dish, and with all the hard work taken out of it, ideal for an idle baker.
Adapted from the recipe given in Good Housekeeping's Easy Bakes, Cakes & Puds Summer 2011, which is still on sale in national newsagents. For more information go to the Good Housekeeping website here.
I've added the cinnamon and star anise, and changed their recipe from raspberry & apple to blackberry & apple, for an extra autumnal taste.
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
150g caster sugar, plus a little extra
6 Cox or other eating apples, washed,
125g blackberries, washed
375g ready made puff pastry
5 tbsp double cream, plus extra to serve
1. Butter the base and sides of a 23 inch roundspringform cake tin, before sprinkling a little caster sugar over the base.
2. Peel, core and halve the apples.
3. In a frying pan, heat 25g diced cubes of the butter over a medium heat until foaming gently. Then add the prepared apple halves to the butter, cut side facing up and in one layer only. Throw in the star anise and cinnamon stick, and cook for 10-15 minutes until the apples start to caramelize.
4. Place the apple halves, still cut side up, onto the base of the baking tin. Next add the blackberries so that they nestle in the space around the circles of apple. Sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of the caster sugar and then put the tin to one side to let the apples cool down.
5. Turn the oven to 200C (180 fan ovens).
6. Roll out the pastry to a thickness just over 0.5cm. Then cut it into a 24cm circle.
7. Gently place the pastry circle over the apples and blackberries, and using a spoon lift the fruit to tuck the pastry down into the edges of the cake tin. This will help the pastry to hug the fruit as it bakes. Prick a few holes in the pastry to allow the steam out as it bakes.
8. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, until the pastry is golden.
9. While the Tarte Tatin is baking, you can make the butterscotch sauce. Heat the remaining 50g of butter over a low heat hob until melted.
10. Next gently stir the remaining caster sugar, plus the split vanilla pod, into the melted butter, so that it dissolves into it. Turn the heat up high and let the sauce bubble until it turns a light caramel brown colour. Then quickly and carefully remove from the heat and gently stir in the cream, making sure not to splash yourself with any of the sauce which will be very hot and could easily burn you.
11. When the Tarte Tatin is baked and the butterscotch sauce ready, place a large plate over the top of the cake tin and turn upside down gently. Carefully remove the tin, so that the Tarte is on the plate, before spooning butterscotch sauce over the top of the Tarte. The blackberries will have turned the apples and pastry a gorgeous pink.
12. Add some more blackberries for decoration, and perhaps a few herb leaves from the garden to decorate. Serve warm with more double cream and butterscotch sauce.
This Tarte Tatin was idly baked while listening to little Nico the kitten playing with a cardboard box