Gordon Ramsay takes tarte tatins – the classic French upside-down fruit tart – to new heights
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Choice of fruit
Make sure the bananas are just ripe – not green – but still firm. If they are too soft, they’ll go limp and won’t hold their shape when you cook them.
Choose the right shape pan
Unlike normal fruit tatins, this recipe uses a large ovenproof non-stick frying pan so the curves of the pan match the banana shapes. If you haven’t got one, then swirl the caramel base round a shallow baking tin – a Swiss roll tin would be ideal. Gordon recommends using a heavy-bottomed pan for making the caramel to ensure the sugar doesn’t burn before it caramelises.
When making caramel, Gordon always keeps a pastry brush and some cold water handy. If the sugar starts to crystalise, then he dips the brush in the water and brush around the edges to prevent the sauce burning on the sides of the pan.
Try other fruits and flavours
You can flavour the caramel with cardamon or star anise, and any robust fruit will cook well as a tatin. Change the fruit with the seasons; autumnal apples and pears are classic choices, but apricots also work really well, too. Simply drizzle some caramel into blini pans (or muffin cases), add the fruit and tuck in circles of pastry.
The lightest, crispiest tatins which don’t rise too much, are best made by re-rolling any left-over trimmings of puff pastry, as Gordon does in the restaurant – but homemade rough-puff is also perfect. For the best results, make sure you cook these just before serving, although they may be assembled up to 2 hrs ahead.