Nectarine Tarte Tatin
Tarte Tatin is a pastry in which the fruit is caramelised in butter and sugar in the pan, before the pastry is added and baked. It originated in France. It's a pretty simple dish to make, but the results are pretty impressive!
*The beauty of this dish is that you can make the caramel in the pan earlier in the day, and add the fruit later when you're ready to make dessert! (You could even make it the day before)
- 7 medium nectarines
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons butter
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Packet of puff pastry (in the freezer section of the supermarket!)
- Preheat oven to 220° and remove your pastry from the freezer.
- Cut the nectarines in half and twist them off the stone. Cut them into slices.
- Combine sugar, water, and lemon juice in a 30-cm oven proof dish (you can use a quiche dish, a metal handled frying pan or a cake tin if needed)
- Place over the hob and cook for 2 minutes or until sugar is golden (do not stir). Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla.*
- Place nectarine slices in a spiral in your dish. Put pan on medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes or until sugar mixture is bubbly (do not stir). Remove from heat; let stand 3 minutes.
- Place a sheet of puff pastry over your nectarines, making sure you tuck the pastry into the edges of the pan (you want to wrap the fruit up like a comfy duvet). You may need to use more than one pastry sheet for this.
- Bake at 220° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Remove from oven, and cool for 10 minutes. Place a plate face-up over your dish, and then flip upside down! Remove the pastry dish and voila! Your tart tatin is the right way up on your plate.
Backstory: The Tarte Tatin was created accidentally at the Hôtel Tatin in the 1880s. The hotel was run by two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin. There are conflicting stories regarding the tart's origin, but the most common is that Stéphanie Tatin, who did most of the cooking, was overworked one day. She started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long. Smelling the burning, she tried to rescue the dish by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, quickly finishing the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven. After turning out the upside down tart, she was surprised to find how much the hotel guests appreciated the dessert. Voila! The tart tatin was born.