Tuesday, 28 January 2014


I wanted to bring a bit of fineness to the blog today, and since I’m really heavy handed and impatience, I knew I wouldn’t be able to bring it with decoration, so I thought I’d chose something quite classy by nature; tarte tatin. Kiwi might seem an odd choice to top (or bottom?) these, but the sharpness really works against the rich pastry, and the colour makes them quite eye catching as well. I was quite proud of myself.

For the rough puff pastry
100g flour
Pinch salt
100g fridge cold butter
About 50ml cold water

For the Topping
4 ripe kiwis
50g sugar
50g butter

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Quickly grate in the butter, dipping the block into the flour to coat and stop it sticking to the grater. With a cold knife, mix the strips of butter into the flour then slowly add the water until a rough dough forms. You may need a little more, or a little less. Lay out a long piece of cling film and tip the dough onto it. Wrap the cling film around the dough, pressing together and flattening out slightly to form a rectangle. Cool in the fridge for half an hour.

Once cooled, leave the dough to warm for about 5 minutes then roll out on the cling-film (good, mess reducing tip), lengthways until tripled in size. You’ll need flour on hand because the exposed butter in the pastry tends to stick. Imagine the dough in thirds and fold the first one over the middle, and the remaining one over this. Do a quarter turn so that the layers are facing you (these are called book ends and you should always roll from these) then roll out in one, long ways direction until tripled in length again. Fold as before, wrap in the cling film then leave to cool once more for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to fan200/220c/7. Have a 4, shallow holed medium Yorkshire pudding tin ready.

While the pastry is having its last cool, prepare the kiwis. Chop the ends of each then finely peel. Slice each in to circles, about the thickness of a £1 coin, then cut in half again into crescent-style segments. Place each segment onto a sheet of kitchen paper and cover over with another piece, just to draw out any excess moisture.

Make the caramel. Heat a frying pan to a medium flame then tip in the sugar and butter. Swirl around the pan until all melted and beginning to turn a dark amber colour. Once you’ve reached this stage, turn off the heat and pour equally into the bottom of each hole in the tins. Arrange the kiwi segments on top of the caramel, whatever pattern you desire. Don’t worry if the caramel has stiffened, it will melt again in the oven.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out. Take a small plate, a little larger than the tin holes, place on the pastry and cut around, giving you 4 circles. Lay each pastry circle over the caramel and kiwis and tuck down the edges. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown, and the caramel is bubbling up from underneath.

Once out of the oven leave to cool but only for a minute because it’s easier to turn the tarte tatins out when they’re hot. Ease the edges of each tarte with a knife if you think the caramel is make them stick then place a chopping board over the tin and flip upside down so that the tin is then on top of the board. Lift up the tin (using a towel) and reveal the 4 little kiwi tarte tatins. 

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