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Professional Tarte Tatin from Galvin Brothers vs the cheat version:
Earlier this year I was invited to take part in a competition to make the perfect Tarte Tatin. Unfortunately, I was in France at the time, but one of my friends did take part – and amazingly, he won! Ed Benson (who I’ve known for year through a book club and more) was crowned the winner of the 5th annual Tarte Tatin competition on 10th June, in a taste-off against 13 other shortlisted bakers!
Not only were Chris and Jeff judging but they were joined by a whole host of eminant foodies including Richard Vines and Fred Sirieix. Ed won the trophy, Tarte Tatin for life at Galvin Bistrot de Luxe a magnum of champagne, £150 Galvin gift voucher and a traditional copper Tarte Tatin dish with his name engraved on it.
Tarte Tatin is the speciality of the Michelin-starred Galvin brother’s restaurants and I’ve tried their version at Bistro de Luxe. It is superb but, while it’s not complicated, it is quite time-consuming, especially if you make your own pastry! Apparently, the secret is to get a really crisp pastry and use the best possible apples. If you want to try for yourself the recipe is here on the Great British Chefs site.
I’ll probably stick to my ‘easy’ version which differs in the way that the apples are cooked. Most of the caramelisation for my version is done stovetop, which makes it easier to get crispy pastry as you can then cook the whole thing in a hotter oven. But, for the perfectionist it probably isn’t quite there – it lacks that beautiful Mille Feuille texture to the pastry and the deep caramelisation of the apples.
- 6 Firm Eating Apples
- 70 g Granulated Sugar
- 60 g Salted butter
- 1 sheet Puff Pastry All butter
- Pre heat the oven to 180c. Roll out the pastry and cut a round that is just a little larger than your pan
- Melt the butter in the bottom of your skillet over a low heat
- Take the pan off the heat and stir through the sugar, then spread the sugar/butter mixture over the bottom of the pan
- Peel and core all the apples and cut into segments, each a quarter of the apple
- Lay the apples on top of the sugar butter mixture, working around the edge of the pan so that each segment overlaps. Fill the centre with another round of apple quarters. Keep a few segments to one side
- Now return the pan to the hob and bring to a fast boil. Cook for around 8-10 minutes until the sugar syrup starts to caramelise.
- Flip each segment over, keeping the design. Use the reserved apple segments to fill any gaps
- Cook for a further 5-8 minutes till the apples start to soften and the caramel is a deep golden colour
- Top the mixture with the pastry and fold the edges over pushing them down around the rim of the pan.
- Put the tart in the oven and bake for around half an hour till the pastry is golden brown
- Take the pan out and allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes. Then, run a round bladed knife around the edge of the pan. Turn out onto an inverted plate.
- Serve with clotted cream or extra thick double cream.
Want to try my simple version?
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