I don’t make this that often, because, let’s be honest, it’s not really one of the healthiest dishes. But when you have someone over for dinner, all the more reason to indulge yourself and make something devilishly good.
I let the caramel really bubble down to a thick, sticky, dark and rich consistency, a bit longer than I usually would. Cook the apples along in the caramel sauce for ± 20 minutes so that sauce tastes like apple butter.
I also let the puff pastry go really crisp, until just not burned (keep an eye on it towards the end). All this will result in a perfect balance between sticky sweet goodness with tart appely flavour and crunchy crust. Enjoy while still warm with some vanilla ice-cream melting over the top.
- 1 large sheet puff pastry (or 6 small squares, thawed)
- 1.5 kg apple, preferably a bit tart, like Granny Smith
- 3 tablespoons water
- ½ cup sugar (100 g)
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- Good pinch of salt
- vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche, for serving
Use a 23 cm flat-sided pie tin a template and cut a circle out from the puff pastry.
Poke holes in the pastry all over with a fork, set aside.
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Peel and quarter the apples, then remove the core (or use an apple corer).
Add the water and sugar to a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat until light amber in color. Don't stir with a spoon but swirl the pan around now and then to help it along, ±5-7 minutes. I like the caramel on the darker side but be careful it doesn't burn or it will turn bitter.
Add the butter and salt, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the color is a creamy brown.
Add the apples, stirring until they are coated in a thick layer of caramel.
Cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning the apples constantly so that they simmer in the caramel. But do this carefully so the apples don't break down.
Remove from the heat when the caramel has reduced and just a little remains in the bottom of the pan. Remember, be careful not to burn the caramel!
Arrange the apple slices on the bottom of the cake tin pressing the apples tightly against each other.
Pour the remaining caramel over the top.
Lay the circle of puff pastry on top, tucking the puff pastry down the sides of the pan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and firm.
Cool for about 1 hour (this is the hard part), then invert onto a plate.
Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche.