Like many good things, penicillin, Velcro, corn flakes; this recipe came about by chance. When French hoteliers the Tatin sisters burnt the fruit for a traditional apple pie, unfazed they covered it in pastry, bunged the frying pan in the oven then flipped it upside down before serving. The accidentally caramelised apples went down a storm with their lodgers meaning tart Tatan became a mistake they frequently made.

12 pink lady apples, peeled and cored
200g blackberries
500g puff pastry
200g salted butter, sliced
200g castor sugar

  • Pre-heat the oven to 165°C.
  • Begin by rolling and cutting the puff pastry to the size of a large non-stick frying pan. It should be rolled to around 5mm in thickness. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and place in the fridge to rest for 40 minutes.
  • Using the same pan place the butter so that it covers most of the base.
  • On top of this place the sugar spreading it evenly.
  • Peel, core and halve the apples and arrange them tightly with the curve side facing down. (The apples will shrink on cooking so it is important to pack them tightly.)
  • Place the pan onto a hob ring and gently caramalise with a medium heat until the sugar and butter turn a golden brown. This should take around 10 minutes.
  • When you have the right colour remove from the hob and scatter the blackberries over the apples and then place the puff pastry on top. Tuck the pastry down the sides of the pan to help encase the apples and develop a crust.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, turning the tart after 40 minutes and allowing any moisture to escape the oven.
  • After the hour and a 20 minutes remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before turning the tart out onto a plate.

Serve piping hot with crème fraiche.


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