I’ve always wanted to have a go at making a classic tarte tatin so recently when I had an abundance of beautifully juicy plums I decided the time was right. I’d seen a recipe in the April Delicious mag using plums so I used this as my base recipe. It’s a dessert that looks impressive but is reasonably easy to achieve if you use good quality puff pastry and in season fruit. Your oven really does all the hard work.
I think the only pressure point is inverting the finished product onto a serving plate. This step could be a disaster and in fact, on this occasion, because I had made a relatively large tarte (enough to serve six hungry people) my guest, Mr M, confidently did the flip-over for me. If you are worried about this step, practice without the tarte to get the hang of it.
To create this lovely decadent dish make a caramel in a heavy based pan using 50g unsalted butter and 1/4 cup caster sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves then cook (without stirring) until golden caramel.
Cut your plums in half and place in the caramel (cut side up). You’ll need approximately 15 plums, depending on size. Make sure you pack them tightly, with no large gaps. Finely zest orange rind over the top. At this stage I also added a light sprinkle of cinnamon and extra brown sugar. Let this cook gently for 5 minutes or so.
Cut out a large circle of puff pastry (to fit completely over your pan). Place the pastry on top of your plums and tuck the plums into bed, gently tucking the pastry around the plums. Brush with egg and sprinkle with extra sugar. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until pastry is golden and risen. Before turning out, let stand for 10 minutes and if possible drain away the excess liquid. Cover with a serving plate larger than your pan and carefully invert the tarte.
Serve with vanilla cream or vanilla ice-cream. The plums are zingy in flavour, the pastry buttery and it all goes together beautifully. Will definitely be making this one again soon!