Make a sweet and buttery tarte Tatin

Felicity Carter
·2-min read
Photo credit: Levan
Photo credit: Levan

From Town & Country

The tarte Tatin is commonly thought to have originated in France in the 1800s as a happy accident by the Tatin sisters, and their namesake pudding was so popular it became a signature dish in their hotel. And it’s easy to see why: made from apples caramelised with butter and sugar, and encased in pastry, it is sweet, tart, and everyone knows the joy is in the burnt bits. Nicholas Balfe, the founder and chef director at the London restaurant Levan shares his mouth-watering recipe of this classic dessert.

Levan’s tarte Tatin Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 Braeburn apples, peeled, cut into quarters and cored

200g golden caster sugar

50g butter

A pinch of sea salt

375g block of ready-made puff pastry, rolled out approximately 3mm thick

Crème fraîche to serve

Photo credit: Levan
Photo credit: Levan

Method

Prepare the apples in advance – the night before if you can – and leave them aside to dry in the fridge (this helps remove the moisture).

Make a caramel in an oven-proof skillet pan by cooking out the sugar with a little water until it caramelises.

Turn and tilt the pan if you need to, but don’t be tempted to stir it as this forms crystals. Add the butter and sea salt, remove from the heat and stir to combine. Add the apple quarters. Stack them tightly next to one another in a circular form with one in the piece in the middle.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Return to the heat and cook gently in the caramel until they soften and start to go translucent – about 20 minutes. You might need to scoot them around a bit. Add the pastry disc and tuck in the edges. Place in the hot oven for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 160°C and cook for another eight minutes. Turn the oven down to 120°C and cook for a further eight minutes. This gradual decrease in temperature helps to release all the pectin so the apples go sticky.

Allow to cool a little before inverting onto a serving plate. Slice and serve with crème fraîche.

Levan is available to order online here.