I needed a dessert for Saturday evening. Steve was planning a huge smoker-chicken feast, so I knew we’d want something fairly light to have afterwards. This was what I plumped for – the French classic, Tarte Tartin. Suffice to say that it all disappeared, despite everyone getting to the end of the (awesome) chicken and saying that they were so full that they couldn’t possibly eat anything else.

A quick note on apples. If you like a sharp taste, use a variety like Braeburn or Cox, but if you prefer something sweeter, you could try something like Gala or Red Delicious. But any type will work so long as you also use cooking apples (such as Bramley) on top.

Ingredients (serves 8)20170311_200937

  • 1 sheet ready made shortcrust pastry (or you could make it yourself…)
  • 120g demerara sugar
  • 20g dark muscovodo sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 large cooking apples cored, peeled and cut into slices
  • 5 small eating apples cored, peeled and cut into slices
  • a small amount of melted butter


You’ll need a 23 cm cake tin. If you are using a springform variety I suggest you start by lining it with foil – otherwise you might end up with sticky, sweet juices oozing all over the bottom of you oven. Then line it with baking parchment and brush the inside with butter.

Next sprinkle the sugars and cinnamon over the base of the tin and carefully arrange a single layer of eating apple slices on top. This layer is the only one which will be seen at the end, so it’s worth doing it carefully. Once that’s done, layer the rest of the eating apples, and then the cooking apples (which will go nice and mushy as they cook). Finally cut a circle of pastry to fit the tin and press it gently on top. Bake at 180C for about 45 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked and golden.

Once cooked, allow to cool in the tin and then refrigerate for at least an hour until it’s well chilled. Then loosen it around the edges (or remove the side if you are using a springform tin), place a plate on top, turn it upside-down and (carefully) remove the tin and baking parchment. It can be kept in the fridge for a day or two, and can be served with cream or ice-cream, but I think it goes best with the slightly sour taste of creme fraiche.