Mini Tarte Tatins and Other Apple Delights

Posted in All posts, on

I sat down to write my post and considered a title, I thought An Apple a Day would work, but it had a familiar ring,  I searched back through the (very user friendly) archive of Garlic and Sapphire, and guess what?  I had called my apple post from last year just that!  I do think that it is worth revisiting the wonders that are British Apples though, so here are further thoughts on apples.

I think it's fabulous that  during the Autumn we are at last able to buy British Apples.  It's such a joy that many of the supermarkets now stock a huge range.  There is a growing variety of colours and tastes to entice the adventurous apple eater, though if, like me you have an eight year old daughter, you may well find yourself,  in addition to purchasing new and enticing British flavours , buying Pink Ladies, which sadly cannot grow in the British climate.

I've also been a little more adventurous with the apples I buy to cook,  partly because the great Bramley is not available in France, and also because some apple cooking requires an apple to retain it's shape.  However,  I love Bramleys in crumbles and in pies, as well as apple cakes, apple sauce and apple cheese.  I highly recommend Sarah Raven's recipe for apple cheese (or membrillo) my husband thinks it is far superior to quince membrillo.

A fortnight ago I was fortunate enough to be invited to an Apple Day, held by Miranda Gore Browne and Vivien Lloyd.  I came home inspired to use apples in more cooking. Miranda baked a savoury cake with apple chutney on it, it also had goat cheese and ham, and made the most scrumptious lunch.  Vivien's Apple Curd was a triumph as well, and I have since made my own, which I eat with yoghurt for breakfast, with cheese at lunch and on scones at teatime. (I have written about the day on my own blog)

Miranda's use of caramel in a sumptuous cake with apples and mascarpone (adapted from her recipe Fig, Caramel and Mascarpone Cake) reminded me of these sweet little Mini Apple Tarte Tatins I had made during the summer in France.

They are a quick and quite cheaty bake, but perfect for when you want to impress but have no time.

You need:

  • A jar of Caramel (I use Breton Caramel but you could easily substitute a supermarket one)
  • Apples (4 or 5)
  • Butter
  • A block of pre-prepared Puff Pastry (supermarket one would be fine)
  • Egg (1)
  • A twelve hole bun tin

What to do:

  1. Roughly chop half your apples and stew gently in a little water, until they begin to break down
  2. Liberally grease each bun cavity with butter
  3. Dollop a teaspoonful of caramel into each
  4. Carefully cut the remaining apples thinly, and fan over the caramel
  5. Add the stewed apple
  6. Role out the pastry and using a cutter (or a glass) cut out twelve circles, slightly larger then the bun tin holes
  7. Place a pastry circle on top of each hole
  8. Using a knife push the pastry into  each, making a mini upside down pie
  9. Beat the egg and glaze the pastry
  10. Bake in a warm oven for about 15 minutes
  11. When you remove the tin, use a knife to ensure that the pies are not sticking to the tin
  12. After a few minutes turn the bun tin upside down and your mini tarts should come out easily
  13. They are delicious warm with cream, creme fraiche, or vanilla ice-cream

I hope you are taking full advantage of the wonderful apples available this year, and would love to hear if you have been to an apple day.

Miranda was telling me that she had attended a day on Cutting Gardens at Perch Hill, it sounded inspirational, and I have decided that next year I am going to try and attend a course either on cooking or growing there myself.  I'll just have to organise day care for my daughter, but maybe I'll see you there too?