A french friend of my mum's cooks the most fantastic tarte tatins that she brings round for dinner parties. I didn't think I had a hope of recreating her amazing tarte, without even a recipe to go on. But I'm pleased to say it wasn't actually far off. Although I have used pre made puff pastry, and I'm sure my mum's friend makes her own!

Using this recipe, tarte tatin is actually really easy to make - there are only 4 ingredients - and can be made well in advance, then reheated and served warm, or just served cold!

This recipe makes a large tatin that feeds 8 people.

7 cox apples (can use Braeburns or Granny Smiths)
80g soft brown sugar
80g salter butter
1 roll of shop bought puff pastry

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Peel, quarter and core the apples. I used cox apples, you can use these, Braeburns or Granny Smiths. Slice the apples as thinly as possible. My magimix came up trumps here, with it's 2mm slicing blade. 

In a large frying pan (that is safe to later put in the oven) heat 80g of soft light brown sugar and 80g of butter. Leave this, on a medium heat, to bubble and foam and become golden and oozing. This takes around 5 minutes. Once it is so, quickly layer your apple slices onto the caramel, as neatly as possible. It doesn't matter if there are a few small holes in between the apple slices. Keep over a medium heat and let the caramel seep up between the apples.

Roll out a piece of shop bought puff pastry on a floured surface, until it's just less than 5mm thick. Cut a circle the same size of the pan out of the pastry.

Once the caramel is turning a dark golden, place the circle of puff pastry over the apples and tuck down the sides.

Put the whole pan into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry has turned golden and crisp. With a teatowel, remove the pan from the oven - be careful - the handle of the pan will be very hot.

Leave to cool slightly before turning the tarte out onto a plate, with the apples showing.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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