Back to the kitchen …

It’s that time of year; windowsills full of tomatoes, bags full of windfall plums, pears threatening to fall from the trees like hailstones, courgettes turning to marrows here there and everywhere, and apples … always and everywhere, apples.

And this is the superlatively good Tarte Tatin that I’ve adapted from a recipe by fellow blogger Clotilde Desoulier whose excellent recipes can be found at the blog Chocolate & Zucchini.

You need:

Pastry

60g fine (caster for preference) sugar
170g plain flour
85g unsalted butter (yes, you can make it with margarine, but it won’t taste as good)
2 tablespoons milk

Filling

70g brown sugar
35 g butter
1k any old apples (as long as they don’t go mushy when cooked – we use the generic apples we pick in hedges for this, or the rather bland ones that grow on the allotments, doesn’t matter, they all come out tasting great)

Mix the flour and sugar, cut the butter into the mix and then rub in with your fingers until its like breadcrumbs, add half the milk and then knead the dough. If it doesn’t form a smooth dough, add the rest of the milk and knead again. Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for half an hour.

Grease a 22 or 25 cm cake pan or quiche dish.

Put the brown sugar with 1 tablespoon water in small heavy pan and melt over a medium heat until it caramelises. As soon as it becomes a golden/light coffee colour, remove from the heat. Beat in the butter and pour the result beige paste into the bottom of your dish, allowing it to spread out.

Remove dough from fridge and roll out – this is rather tricky as it can be very crumbly and fragile but don’t worry about small cracks in the dough as you can repair them as you go. Peel, core and slice apples into thick slices – arrange them in a spiral on top of the caramel. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then lift it and lay it over the apples, tucking the edges in around them like a blanket. If it breaks or tears, just pinch it back together gently with your fingers.

Cook for around 45 minutes at 180 degrees C and then run a knife around the pastry edges to loosen it before setting a plate on top of the cooking dish and inverting them together to get the pastry where it belongs (on the bottom) and the apples where you want them (on the top!) – if any stay in the dish, just hoik them out with a fork and put them back in the pattern.

Believe me, this is the BEST apple pie you’ll ever taste.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Monday, August 20, 2007

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