- 2 x green or red apples (your choice or one of each)
- 1 x pear (of any variety)
- 1/4 a cup of caster sugar or raw sugar
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 75g butter
- 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry (thawed)
- Icing sugar to decorate
LET’S MAKE THIS BABY…
First, Pre- heat your oven to 120*C /248*F. Grab a small, non stick oven-proof frying pan approximately 25cm/10”.
Place the pan over your sheet of puff pastry and trace a circle with a sharp knife around the base of the pan making sure it is slightly larger than the base. This will be your pastry top for the tart. Slice your apples in half and core removing all seeds. Slice the halves in thin(ish) slices to make little half moons.
(I leave the skins on as I like to use the whole fruit, but feel free to peel if the desire takes you!)
Do the same with the pear(s).
Now…this is the ‘artistic’ part…
Lay the apple and pear in alternate slices around the base of the pan, making sure to crowd the pan so no spaces remain! Trust me, this can get a bit tricky but just try your best to make a rosette style pattern. Any remaining slices just squash them in or put into the centre.
Remember, this is a rustic dessert so perfection isn’t the key!
Second, Turn on the small hotplate on your stovetop to a medium temperature. Place your apple and pear pan onto the hotplate and sprinkle over the two sugars. Dot the butter around the fruit and push into the spaces and some into the middle. This process will start making the amazing caramel for your tart and begin to soften the fruit.
Keep a close eye on this as to not burn or over-caramelise the sugars! When the sugar and butter have all melted and it has turned a dark brown caramel and smells heavenly, remove from the heat and put aside. Turn off hotplate.
Take your circle of pastry and lay a top the fruit/caramel and push in the sides making sure all gaps are filled. Poke some holes in the top with a sharp knife to let out the steam when in the oven.
Third, Open your oven and let out the steam (be careful not to give yourself a hot facial whilst doing this)! Place the tart on the middle shelf and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the pastry is a lovely golden brown.
When cooked, remove from the oven remembering to use a dry kitchen cloth or tea towel around the handle as a burnt hand isn’t fun I can assure you! ( I’ve made this mistake many times…NO JOY!) Leave to slightly cool for about 5-10 minutes, keeping the tea towel around the handle.
Finale, When ready, find a lovely round plate that is slightly larger than the pan. NOW…
LA PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE… Place the plate on top of the pan. Being quick and without hesitation, flip the pan onto the plate in one swift motion and try to keep the caramel on the tart and not all over the bench! Remove the pan and check all the fruit has come away from the bottom and scrape out any extra caramel remaining. Lightly re-arrange fruit if needed to make sure it’s as pretty as a picture! Et Voilà!
Lightly sprinkle with icing sugar and serve warm with vanilla ice-cream, dollop or pouring cream. (Serves 4 if you like generous slices or more if you’re not greedy like me!) Goes splendidly with little cups of strong Espresso, Champagne or a sticky Sauternes. Bon Appetite!
Note: This is a very quick and easy traditional French dessert and will be a hit after (or before) any meal! Feel free to go culinary crazy and use any fruit of your choice, but nothing soft like raspberries or strawberries as they will not keep their shape and will go mushy. Apricots arranged in halves or sliced peaches/nectarines work well too. Also, for larger groups, just use a bigger pan and a bit more of everything! Simple!
…”Life is uncertain, eat dessert first”…Ernestine Ulmer