Around the world in 80 dishes No. 48: Apple tarte tatin with calvados cream

Ingredients to serve 4

70g unsalted butter, softened
70g castor sugar
5 Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and quartered, left in the fridge for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight
Flour, for dusting
100g puff pastry (ready-made is fine)

For the calvados cream

150g crème fraîche
100g whipping cream
50g castor sugar
25ml Calvados


I love an apple pie, and this wonderful French version hits the spot every time, with its caramelisation playing against the tartness of the apples. You could serve the tart on its own or with ice cream, but the calvados cream is simple to make, and adds another layer of appley flavour. It's best to start this the day before you plan to serve it.

Leaving apple pieces in the fridge allows them to dry out. Then they won't give off steam when cooking and the pastry will stay crisper. Don't worry if they go a bit brown – they will be caramelised anyway.

You will need a 20cm, shallow frying pan with an oven-proof handle. Pre-heat the oven to 160C/gas mark 3.

Evenly cover the base of the frying pan with the butter – use your fingers to squash it down. Then sprinkle the sugar evenly over the butter, and arrange the apple quarters on top in concentric circles.

On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry out to a thickness of 3mm. Pay attention to the size as you are rolling: it needs to be wide and long enough to cover the apples in the pan. Place the puff pastry gently over the apples, tucking in any excess pastry between the apples and the pan, like a blanket.

Place the pan over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes to begin the caramelisation process, then put it in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and oozing caramel slightly at the edges.

To make the calvados cream, place the crème fraîche, whipping cream and sugar in a large, clean bowl. Bring them gently together with a spatula until well combined. Add the Calvados and, using a whisk, beat all the ingredients together until you have soft, snowy peaks. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

To serve, turn the tarte tatin out onto a chopping board. Cut it in four and place each slice on a plate with a generous spoonful of the cold calvados cream.

Taken from 'Bryn's Kitchen' by Bryn Williams (Kyle Cathie, £25)

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