Friday, 18 January 2013

Apple and cranberry tarte tatin

Yes, this is really red, isn't it?  I didn't use any food colouring at all.
This beautiful ruby red naturally came from cranberries. I stocked up lots of fresh cranberries in my freezer after post-Christmas shopping.   Cranberries did not only add this beautiful colour but also added a lovely tangy flavour to my usual apple tarte tatin.
You can imagine my excitement when I turned it upside down on the plate.   What a wonderful surprise. :) 
Anyway, having warm dessert is a treat on a snowy day like today.

I filled the gaps with frozen cranberries straight from the freezer. My rough-puff pastry looking promising.

It makes a lovely dessert with creme fraiche. 

For the pastry
· 100g/4oz plain flour
· 50g/2oz butter (in a block) salted butter would be better for sharpening the flavour
· 25g/1oz lard (in a block) 
For the caramel
· 175g/6oz granulated sugar 
For the topping
· 3-4 red dessert apples
· some fresh cranberries to fill the gap
To finish
         · 50g/2oz caster sugar and lemon juice

Preparation method
1.    First make the pastry. Freeze the butter and lard until very cold.

2.    Measure the flour into a bowl and grate the butter and lard into the flour. Use a knife to coat the butter and lard in the flour. Add 4-5 tbsp cold water and mix to a firm dough until it comes together.

3.    Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface to a rectangle. Fold one third down and then fold the bottom third up and over the top fold. Turn it 90 degrees (a quarter turn) and repeat the rolling and folding. Set aside, covered, in the fridge for 20 minutes. Repeat the rolling, folding and chilling twice more so you have a total of four folds and turns.

4.    Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.

5.    For the caramel, place the granulated sugar and 6 tbsp water into a stainless steel pan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and there are no granules. Remove the spoon and increase the heat. Boil until a golden straw colour and immediately pour into a 23cm/9in fixed-base deep sponge sandwich tin. Don’t let it get too dark or it will be bitter – this is very important!  

6.    For the topping, core the apples, then cut into thick slices. Arrange a layer over the caramel in the tin in a circular pattern – start from the outside of the tin and work inwards. Fill the gaps with cranberries.

7.    Roll out the pastry to a round, slightly bigger than the tin. Cover the apples and tuck the edges of the pastry down around the apples. Make a small cross in the top of the pastry to let the steam out.

8.    Bake for about 40 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden-brown and the apples are soft.

9.    To finish, before turning the tarte out, tip the juices from the tin into a saucepan. Add the caster sugar and lemon juice and boil until syrupy.

10. Turn the tarte tatin out onto a plate and spoon the syrup over the apples. Serve with cream or crème fraîche.

       Do not wash-up the sauce pan which was used for making caramel. Use the sauce pan to make glaze!  Add sugar, lemon juice and some juices from the tarte tatin to the sauce pan which has leftover hardened caramel. 

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