200g (7 oz) golden caster (superfine) sugar
150g (5½ oz) unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
about 7 small green apples, peeled, cored and halved
batch rough puff pastry (see recipe)
250g (9 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
½ teaspoon salt
250g (9 oz) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
100ml (3½ fl oz) iced water

A tarte Tatin is a truly beautiful, rustic dessert that’s perfect for any occasion, and it can be made with any fruit of your choice. My favourites are apples, pears, peaches, apricots or nectarines – I find these hold their shape and retain the most flavour. I’ve used the rough puff pastry but let’s be honest, you’re not always going to have the time to make that. A good-quality store-bought puff pastry does the job just as well. Serve the tart with a dollop of crème fraîche to cut through the sticky caramel.

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1.Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
2.Put the sugar in a 28cm (11¼ inch) ovenproof frying pan over medium heat.
3.Once the sugar has melted, increase the heat and cook until the sugar is deeply caramelised.
4.Deglaze the pan with 50ml (1¾ fl oz) water, then bring to the boil to ensure the sugar has completely dissolved.
5.Add the butter, scrape in the vanilla seeds and add the empty pod, then turn off the heat.
6.Arrange the apple pieces in the pan, cut side up (they may not all fit, depending on the size of the apples).
7.Roll out the pastry until 1cm (½ inch) thick and cut out a 28cm (11¼ inch) circle to fit the frying pan.
8.Lay the pastry over the apples and tuck the edges into the pan.
9.Cut a little hole in the middle of the pastry to allow the steam to escape.
10.Bake the tart for 40–45 minutes or until the pastry is a deep golden brown.
11.Allow the tart to cool for 15 minutes before inverting it onto a large serving plate.
12.Serve with crème fraîche, vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of cream.
14.Halve the fruit and remove the stones before arranging them on top of the caramel.
15.Bake the tart at 220°C (425°F) for 30 minutes.
17.Peel, core and halve 3 large quinces.
18.Put them in a roasting tin with 100g (3½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar, 1 cinnamon stick and the peeled rind and juice of 2 oranges.
19.Cover with foil and roast at 150°C (300°F) for 4–5 hours, topping up with water as needed, until the quinces turn rosy red.
20.Allow the quinces to cool, then assemble and cook the tarte Tatin as per the apple version.
22.Combine the flour and salt in a bowl.
23.Add the butter and use your fingertips to gently coat the butter with the flour, trying to leave most of the chunks of butter intact – this will create the layers you find in traditional puff pastry.
24.Pour in the water and bring the mixture together into a rough dough.
25.It will be quite crumbly at this stage, but just force it together into a rough square, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 20–30 minutes to ensure that the butter is completely chilled.
26.Lightly dust your bench with flour, then roll out the pastry into a long rectangle.
27.Fold the pastry into three by folding one end to the middle, then folding the other end over the top, creating three layers.
28.Repeat this rolling and folding three times.
29.Rewrap the pastry and chill it in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using.

Images and text from
First, Cream the Butter
and Sugar by Emelia
Jackson, photography
by Armelle Habib.
Murdoch Books
RRP $69.99.