Inspired from a recent trip to Lyon I created what is now my favourite dessert of all time :). The addition of praline contrasts the sweetness of the apples poached in caramel while creating an almost baklava taste with the puff pastry base, a real crowd pleasing dessert.

Health: The main ingredient of praline is almonds; The health benefits of almonds include lowering blood sugar levels, reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels

Preparation time: 3 hours  Total Cooking Time: 1 hour   Serves: 5-6   Dish Seasonality: Autumn/Winter
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Ingredients (Shopping List)

For the Praline

  • 200g Blanched almonds
  • A few drops of vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. Water
  • 200g granulated sugar

For the Tart

  • 350g of puff pastry, approx. 3mm in thickness
  • Approx. 8 golden delicious apples
  • 225g of unsalted butter
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • Approx. 5 tablespoons of crushed praline

 

Tips and Tricks: As this recipe consists of very little ingredients, those ingredients that you do use need to be of the upmost in flavour and quality.

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Method

  1. To begin making the praline, toast 200g blanched almonds over a low heat until golden brown but not burnt.
  2. To a pan add 200g of granulated sugar along with 1 tbsp. of water, place over a brisk heat until the sugar has melted and begins to bubble, add a few drops of vanilla extract.
  3. Continue cooking the syrup over a high heat until it has reached a brown caramel, turn off the heat and add the toasted almonds. Stir the mixture constantly for 1 minute, pour onto a greased baking sheet and allow to cool completely. Pound in a pestle and mortar as and when required.
  4. To make the Tart Tatin mix 200g of caster sugar with 225 g of unsalted butter. Smear this mixture over the bottom and sides of a Tarte Tatin pan or a 23cm sandwhich tin.
  5. Peel and core approx. 8 golden delicious apples and cut them into quarters. Trim the pointed ends off the pieces of apple, then arrange them in a concentric circles in the tin, adding the trimmed off corners to fill in the gaps.
  6.  When the apples are neatly packed in place, cook over a medium/high heat until the butter and sugar form a golden caramel.
  7. The mixture will rise as it boils and coat the apples; remove the tin from the heat then sprinkle over approx. 4 Tbsp. of crushed praline, leave to cool completly.
  8. Cover the apples with the puff pastry, tucking it inside the edge of the tin so the fruit is contained. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C Fan (200°C Conventional) for 20-30 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown.
  9. Remove the tart from the oven and allow 5 minutes for it to cool; Place serving dishes both on top and underneath the tin  and turn the tart upside down.
  10. Remove the tin and serve warm with Crème Fraiche or Hay ice-cream.

Tips and Tricks:  When making your praline, make sure to take the caramel to brown and not golden, this evokes a nutty almost bitter note to contrast the sweetness of the tart. It is important to only serve this tart warm as when it is hot all the caramel runs off.

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