Make the Soured Cream Shortcrust Pastry, recipe follows and allow to chill.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
To prepare the apples: Peel the apples with a vegetable peeler
to keep them in a nice rounded shape, and then cut into quarters. Remove the core
from each quarter, and set aside. Don't worry if they go brown, and don't cover in water or they will be too wet.
Place the sugar and water in an ovenproof saucepan
set over a low-medium heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat, and boil the syrup until it starts to caramelize around the edges, about 5 minutes. Do not stir once it has come to the boil, otherwise the syrup will crystallize. Once the syrup starts to turn golden, you may need to swirl the pan slightly to even out the caramelization.
Once the syrup is golden caramel in color, add the butter, and swirl the pan again to distribute it throughout the caramel.
Remove the pan from the heat, and arrange the apple quarters in a concentric circle around the outside of the pan, and any remaining pieces in the centre, keeping in mind that the tart will be flipped over when serving. The apples must completely cover the base of the pan; you may need an extra apple!
Place the pan back over a medium heat, and cook for 10 minutes, to slightly caramelize
the apples, while you roll out the pastry.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pastry
out to a round about 3/4-inch wider in diameter than the pan. Remove the pan from the heat, and place the pastry on top of the almost cooked apples. Using the base of a spoon or a fork, tuck the pastry in around the edges of the apples. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg, and then using a skewer or fork, prick a few holes in the pastry.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the apples feel cooked when you insert a skewer
through the centre.
Remove from the oven and allow to stand for just a few minutes before placing a plate on top of the pan and carefully (it is hot!) but quickly flipping it out. Use a plate with a slight lip to catch the delicious juices. Cut into slices to serve. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream
or whipped cream with a little icing sugar
and cinnamon or Calvados
Pear and ginger tarte tatin: Use 4 to 5 pears of medium ripeness, instead of the apples and add 1 teaspoon of grated fresh gingerroot
in with the butter.
Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the pastry.
You can also make this with puff or sweet shortcrust pastry.
If you wish, use golden caster or granulated sugar
, but it is a little trickier to see when it is caramelized, so keep watching the pan. The mixture will go a shade darker than the original golden color and should take about 5 minutes in total over a medium-high heat. If it burns, I would suggest cutting your losses and starting again!