I’d never made a tarte tatin, but always enjoy messing around with pastry. The lesson I learned today is… before you start messing around with pastry, read through to the end of the recipe and check whether any of your handicraft will show in the final product.
In tarte tatin, by the way, it won’t show at all, because of course (I mean, I have eaten tarte tatin so this ought to have been something I remembered) you invert the tarte once it’s out of the oven. Having – as you can see in the photograph – crafted the pastry with details of both a beautiful bee and an apple, and fashioned the initials of all of those who would be served the dish, only to realise this would be on the base of the finished tarte, I feel now like one of those medieval masons who did their finest carving up, up, in some lofty cathedral spandrel and high above the heads of the future worshippers, so that no-one ever sees it. Or like the panel workers in the car factory who scrawl swear words behind the posh upholstery though no-one will ever know.
Ah well, at least it tasted fantastic – a properly buttery, honeyed dessert. Want to know how I did it…?
Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 20cm ovenproof dish. Pour half a cup of honey into the pan and put in the oven, setting it to 200 degrees centigrade.
Peel, core and slice two apples and place the slices attractively (because, you know, this is the bit that will show, NOT the pastry…) in the warmed honey over the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with a quarter of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
Roll out the pastry and place on top, making sure it goes right to the sides.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Let cool in the dish for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.
For more honey recipes, honey tasting notes, and stories behind extraordinary honeys, see my recently published Little Book of Honey.