Plum tarte tatin
I had never had a tarte tatin before this weekend. Not ever. Not even in my pre-gf days. In fact I only learned of the existence of tarte tatins a few years ago when a friend confided in me that for all her dinner parties she produces an apple tarte tatin for dessert. Impressed by the French name I asked what this strange creature was and was told that it was butter and sugar and apples, with puff pastry rolled out on top. It sounded too simple for a dinner party and, truthfully, I do think they are a little too messy to be posh nosh; I mean even crostatas have an edge, to support the filling, whereas tarte tatins are somewhat, well, dribbly. However, given my past presentation of food, I’m hardly one to talk, and given I had some leftover puff pastry from last weekend’s extravaganza it was a great time to try this dish out.
I was planning to make a fig tarte tatin, since fig season is drawing to a close and they are nice and cheap round me at the moment. Alas, “drawing to a close” and “closed” became entwined this weekend and I couldn’t find figs for love or money, so I resorted to some plums. Now I promise I was fully intending to peel these before putting them in the tarte. I halved them, stoned them and placed them in a pan of boiling water for over a minute, before dousing in ice-cold water. The skins though, remained resolutely attached. After a good few minutes of picking futilely at the skin with my fingers I gave up and put them in the tin, skins and all. The result was this marvellous bubble-gum pink tarte tatin. Beautiful.
Plum tarte tatin
I used some leftover puff pastry which I froze away last weekend. I defrosted it for 24 hours in the fridge and rerolled it and it puffed up beautifully. Result.
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon single cream
100g gluten-free puff pastry
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
2. Place the sugar in a sturdy saucepan over a medium heat and leave it to melt. Try to avoid stirring it, though if it smells like it’s burning or some lumps don’t seem to be melting then give it a quick stir.
3. Once the sugar is all melted add the butter, chopped into squares, and leave it to melt into the sugar. Add the cream and stir again until all nicely combined. Then pour this mixture (careful, it’s very hot) into the bottom of a 7-inch sandwich tin (I don’t have a tarte tatin pan, in case you hadn’t figured. If you have, by all means make the caramel in this).
4. Halve the plums and remove the stones. Then place, skin side up, into the tin, on top of the caramel sauce. Pack them in closely, but don’t overlap them.
5. Roll out your puff pastry into a round slightly bigger than the tin. Place this on top of the plums, and tuck any extra pastry down the sides of the tin.
6. Put the tarte in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and slightly brown. Make sure you put the tarte tin on a baking sheet, or at least have a sheet at the bottom of the oven to catch any drips. My caramel sauce bubbled delightfully over the side of my tin and I spent a wonderful time once the oven had cooled scraping cooked sugar off the base of it.
7. Remove the tarte from the oven. Place a large plate over the top of the tarte tin and in one swift movement upend the tarte onto the plate. Slice and serve immediately.
Serves 2, I am ashamed to say. I was going to leave half of it, but it was really good, and a quarter was really a bit small for a portion. The pastry did collapse a little when I was slicing it up, under the caramel sauce and the plum juices, so I suspect this would not fare well in the fridge overnight.