A classic French dish that everyone should have in their repertoire – it's easier than you might think.
2 sheets frozen puff pastry thawed
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 kg Royal Gala or Pink Lady apples (about 5-6)
1 cup caster sugar (220 g)
1 vanilla bean
50 g unsalted butter chopped
300 ml cream whipped to serve
- Place one sheet of pastry on a clean bench. Brush with water. Place a second sheet on top. Gently roll out to 28cm square. Cut out a 26cm circle. Discard trimmings. Place pastry circle on an oven tray. Refrigerate.
- Half-fill a large bowl with cold water. Add juice. Peel, core and quarter apples, one at a time. Add to water.
- Scatter caster sugar evenly over base of a 23cm round ovenproof frying pan.
- Using a small sharp knife, halve vanilla bean lengthways. Scrape out seeds with the tip of the knife. Add to frying pan.
- Place pan over a medium to low heat. Cook, shaking pan occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved and golden. Add butter. Stir to melt.
- Meanwhile, drain apples. Pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper. Carefully arrange, side-by-side in a single layer, over hot caramel.
- Cook over a medium heat, turning apples occasionally, for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender. Remove pan from heat.
- Lay pastry over hot apples. Tuck edges of pastry into the side of the pan with the handle of a dessertspoon. Prick surface with a fork at regular intervals. Transfer frying pan to oven.
- Cook in a hot oven (200C) for about 20 minutes, or until pastry is cooked and golden brown. Remove. Stand for 5 minutes.
- Place a large serving plate, upside-down, on top of pan. Keeping pan and plate pressed together, carefully invert the pan to turn out tart on plate.
- Serve warm with cream.