Friday, 20 September 2013

Tarte tatin (Vegan mofo 2013 XVI)

I'm not a confident dessert maker. I'm scared of how easy it is to mess one tiny thing up and have it completely ruin your finished dessert. You should have seen the fear in my eyes while I was making this vegan tarte tatin.

I used this recipe as a basis for my tarte tatin, with a few fear-induced tweaks. Guess what, it turned out fine! Had I been less afraid, I would have let the initial caramel become darker, but I chickened out so it's a bit peely-wally. Still delicious!

Vegan tarte tatin recipe

8 medium-sized apples
Juice of half a lemon
150g sugar
150g vegan margarine
1 small pinch salt
1 roll ready-made shortcrust pastry (I cannot describe the fear I feel at the thought of making my own pastry!)

  1. First, prepare your apples: put the lemon juice in a mixing bowl and top up with a pint or so of water. Then peel all your apples, dropping each one into the lemony water once you've peeled it. Once they're all peeled, take one out, quarter it, and remove the core. Then drop each cored quarter back into the lemony water.
  2. Now the caramel: put the sugar, margarine, and pinch of salt in a heavy-bottomed pan on high heat. Shake the pan around (don't stir) until the margarine is all melted and bubbling up with the molten sugar. This is when I chickened out, but if you're feeling brave, let the caramel get good and golden: that's what I'll do next time.
  3. Now remove your apple quarters from their lemony bath and add to the caramel. Cover and cook on medium-high for 10 minutes, shaking the pan a few times.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C. Now tip the apples and caramel into a round oven-proof dish. Let cool for 10 minutes. If you're lucky enough to have a pan that goes both on the hob and in the oven, there's no need to transfer to a new dish. I happen to have large pans and a small oven in my small kitchen.
  5. Once the apples and caramel have cooled, lay the pastry over the top of them and tuck the edges round the apples. Prick the pastry a few times with a fork. Transfer to the oven and cook for around 15 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the caramel is bubbling around the sides. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Here comes the scariest bit: getting the whole shebang onto a plate. Upturn a plate and lay it over the pastry. Invert the whole lot. Be careful - the caramel will probably try to come out and scald your wrist. Try to avoid that.
  7. Serve warm with (r)ice cream.

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