This article originally appeared in the November 2015 Issue: Hosting the Holidays. Read it here!
“The sprinkling of cinnamon brings this dessert to festive life.”
- Tom Burney; Executive Chef at Invisible Kitchen
Serves: 6-8 / 25 cm tray
- 6 medium apples
- sprinkle of cinnamon
- 225g white sugar
- 55g butter
- 50g water
- 300g puff pastry
- Pinch of sea salt
- Peel, halve, core and slice the apples into wedges but leave one as a complete half. Toss with a sprinkle of cinnamon and put in the fridge, uncovered, for 24 hours (or put in dehydrator at 40°C for 3-4 hours). Removing moisture at this stage means less moisture will leak out of the apples when cooking, protecting the integrity of the caramel.
- Put the sugar into a 20 cm heavy-based ovenproof frying pan along with 50ml water and the star anise. Leave to soak for a couple of minutes, then cook over medium heat until it turns golden brown. Just as the caramel turns dark brown you should remove it from the heat, and immediately add the chopped butter and whisk together with a pinch of sea salt, then pour into your pan.
- Carefully arrange the apples in the pan, starting with the ½ apple-round-side down in the middle, fanning the wedges around it and filling in any gaps with smaller wedges. 2 layers of apple is good here as they shrink while cooking.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Roll out the pastry and cut out a circle 1 cm bigger than your pan. Put back into the fridge to rest.
- Put the pastry on top of the pan and tuck in the edges around the fruit. Bake for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden, risen and cooked through, then remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 30-60 minutes then put a wire rack over the top of the pan and flip over, carefully removing the pan.
Make sure the tart is not hot but just barely warm when you flip it. If too hot, the caramel will still be liquid-y and you will lose it. Too cold and your fruit will be glued to the pan by the set caramel. In our kitchen, we chill the cooked tart in the fridge, then flip and heat the pan with a blowtorch to remove.