1 heavy based frying pan approx 20 cm diameter and with an oven proof handle – or similar.
Half a packet of readymade puff pastry (unless you want to show off or have other pastry preferences)
5 or 6 apples – the current tart was made with russets which proved particularly satisfactory
40g of unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of caster sugar – nice if it’s flavoured - either vanilla or lavender is good.
Peel the apples and chop into reasonably chunky segments – but keep one half apple aside (minus the core and pips).
Pre heat the oven to 200°C or equivalent
Heat the sugar in the pan until it melts – don’t stir it but shake the pan to try and keep it an even colour, when it’s all liquid and an even dark gold (not dark brown) take it off the heat and add the butter immediately, let that melt and arrange the apple pieces in the pan. Start with the half apple (flat side facing up) in the middle and work outwards with the rest of the segments. Keep them reasonably tightly packed.
Roll out the pastry and put it over the apples trimming off the edges so it’s nice and neat looking. Put the whole lot in the oven for about 25 mins (until the pastry is puffy golden and mouth-watering in appearance) Allow to cool for about 10 minutes and then turn the whole lot out onto a plate so that the apples are back on top. It’s very nice (not to sweet) and every time I’ve made it people think I’ve been very clever which you can see quite clearly isn’t the case. I call that a win! (The little black bits in the picture are lavender heads from the lavender sugar.)