The first time I saw this dish being made was during the very first pressure test episodes in the first season of Masterchef Australia. It looked easy, but I never got the chance to make it. In the third season, 3rd place contestant, Alana, made her own version and called it an ‘upside down tart’. She made her own puff pastry, so I thought that it would be a great baking challenge if I could make my own puff pastry as well. Unfortunately I didn’t have any Rosemary on me, so here is my Apple Tarte Tatin (or Apple Upside Down Tart).
Making puff pastry is actually pretty difficult. I wasn’t very successful in making mine and it turned out as a shortcrust pastry. I guess the trick to puff pastry is to not overwork it, and probably attempt it in a room of cool temperature. You don’t want to knead it or touch it too much. The weather in Sydney at the moment is rather hot, so my dough kept sticking to my paper and didn’t cooperate, resulting in me having to knead the dough. I am, however, excited to attempt this again and recreate the puff pastry, but probably during the winter time.
I’m providing the original recipe with the rosemary. Alana served her tart with a vanilla creme fraiche, but I just served mine with whipped cream.
Apple and Rosemary Upside Down Tart (from Masterchef Australia website. Originally by Alana Lowes)
Rough Puff Pastry
- 140g plain flour
- 140g cold unsalted butter, roughly cubed
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 60ml iced cold water
Vanilla Crème Fraiche
- 200g crème fraiche
- 10g icing sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split & seeds scraped
Apple & Rosemary Caramel
- 100g caster sugar
- 60ml water
- 60ml thickened cream
- 100g unsalted butter, roughly cubed
- 3 x 5cm sprigs rosemary, plus extra for garnish
- 1 vanilla Bean, split & seeds scraped
- 4 - 5 small pink lady apples, sliced width ways in 1.5cm thick rounds, seeds removed
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- In the bowl of the food processor, place the flour and salt and give one short pulse to loosen the flour. Add the cubed butter and give short pulses until the mixture resembles a course chunky crumb. Tip the mixture onto the bench and make a well in the centre. Slowly add the iced water, a little at a time, and bring the dough together. Don’t knead or overwork the dough. The dough should be soft and not sticky.
- Shape the dough into a rough rectangle and with the short end closest to you, roll the dough out into a long flat rectangle. Fold the two short ends over on top of each other, turn the dough 90° and roll out again into a long flat rectangle and again folding the short ends over on top of each other. Repeat the turn, roll and fold. Wrap in plastic and rest in freezer for 5 minutes. Remove pastry dough from freezer and repeat the roll, fold and turn action from previous step another 3 times. Wrap in plastic again and rest in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- For the vanilla creme fraiche, whisk all the ingredients together to combine, set aside until needed.
- For the apples and caramel, place a large oven proof non-stick (approx 29cm) frypan over a medium heat, and sprinkle the sugar over the base, pour the water over and allow the sugar to dissolve. Keep the sugar mixture at a slow boil as it will begin to caramalise quickly, roughly 7-9 minutes. When the caramel is a dark golden colour, turn off the heat and add the cream and stir. Add the butter, rosemary and vanilla seeds and stir to combine. Once the butter is melted, lay the apple rounds in the caramel to cover the base of the frypan.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out a round to fit snuggly inside the frypan. Lay the round over the top of the apples, tucking the sides down. Turn the heat back on and continue to cook at a very gentle simmer for 1 minute. Don’t worry if the caramel seeps over the edges.
- Transfer the frypan to the oven (on a rack positioned in the middle of the oven) for 35-40 minutes or until the pastry is puffed, golden, and cooked through. Remove from the oven and rest for 30 seconds. Lay a large plate over the top of the frypan and flip the frypan over onto the plate turning the tart upside down.
- Fix any apples that may have moved, garnish with fresh rosemary and serve with scoops of the vanilla crème fraiche.
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