• This recipe was adapted from a book called The French Kitchen, by Fran Ward and Joanne Harris. It’s not only one of the easiest I’ve tried, but also one of the best. If you’re having a lot of people over for lunch you can take the pressure off and make the pastry the day before.

    Cook’s tip: The recipe is easily halved if you use a smaller frying pan, about 20cm – 25cm.

    Tarte Tatin

    Serves: 12
    Cooking Time: 1 hr 15 mins + extra for chilling


    • Pastry

    • 200g butter
    • 300g flour, plus extra for dusting
    • 50g castor sugar
    • 4 egg yolks
    • Filling

    • 80g butter
    • 200g castor sugar
    • 10 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and quartered



    Heat the oven to 200°C.


    For the pastry, grate the butter into the flour and sugar, and rub together to form crumbs.


    Add the egg yolks and mix together with a round-edged knife. Press with your hands to make a smooth ball. Dust with flour if necessary. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.


    For the filling, melt the butter and sugar until syrupy in a 30cm cast-iron frying pan over a medium heat. The butter will start to separate from the caramel.


    Arrange the apple quarters in the frying pan and cook until the apples are golden and the sugar turns to caramel, about 15 minutes.


    Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a size slightly bigger than the frying pan. Remove the pan from the heat and lay the pastry over the apples, tucking in any excess around the edges. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 160°C and bake for a further 20 minutes.


    Remove from the oven and gently ease a knife all the way around the edges. Place a large heat-proof plate upside down on top of the pan and quickly turn the pan and plate over to release the tart onto the plate. Serve warm with homemade vanilla ice cream.


    To drink: Go with Iona Chardonnay: the wine will add spice and counter a bit of the sweetness.