- 300g all-butter puff pastry
- plain flour, for dusting
- 6 dessert apples (about 900g/2lb), such as Braeburn, Cox’s Orange Pippin or Adam’s Pearmain
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 85g unsalted butter (60g/2¼oz chilled and diced, 25g/1oz melted)
- crème fraîche (full-fat please!) or high-quality vanilla ice cream, to serve
- Roll the pastry to a 3mm-thick round on a lightly floured surface and cut a 24cm circle, using a plate as a guide. Lightly prick all over with a fork, wrap in cling film on a baking sheet and freeze while preparing the apples.
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Peel, quarter and core the apples. Put the sugar in a flameproof 20cm ceramic tatin dish or a 20cm ovenproof heavy-based frying pan and place over a medium-high heat. Cook the sugar for 5-7 mins to a dark amber caramel syrup that’s starting to smoke, then turn off the heat and stir in the 60g diced chilled butter.
- To assemble the tarte tatin, arrange the apple quarters very tightly in a circle around the edge of the dish first, rounded-side down, then fill in the middle in a similar fashion. Gently press with your hands to ensure there are no gaps. Brush the fruit with the melted butter.
- Bake in the oven for 30 mins, then remove and place the disc of frozen puff pastry on top – it will quickly defrost. Tuck the edges down the inside of the dish and, with a knife, prick a few holes in the pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake for a further 40-45 mins until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.
- Allow to cool to room temperature for 1 hr before running a knife around the edge of the dish and inverting it onto a large serving plate that is deep enough to contain the juices. Serve with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.