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200g rough puff pastry, classic puff or ready-made
5 medium apples, not too ripe (preferably Braeburn or Cox)
juice of 1/2 lemon
120g butter, slightly softened
160g caster sugar
Peel the apples, cut them in half and remove the cores. Sprinkle the fruit with lemon juice. Spread the butter evenly over the base of a tatin mould or a heavy ovenproof frying pan (22-24cm diameter, 6cm deep) to form a thick layer. Sprinkle on the sugar and arrange the apples rounded side-down in the pan.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a round, about 3mm thick and 2cm wider than the diameter of the mould or frying pan. Prick the pastry in 8-10 places with a fork. Roll it loosely onto the rolling pin, then unroll it over the apples. Cut off any excess pastry with scissors, leaving a 1cm border all round the edge. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/ Gas 4. Place the frying pan over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the butter and sugar have amalgamated and bubbled to a lovely pale amber caramel. Use a small palette knife to lift the edge of the pastry all round to check that the butter and sugar have caramelised evenly. Place in the oven for about 25 minutes until the pastry is cooked.
Take the tart from the oven and quickly invert it onto a serving plate, taking care not to burn yourself. The pastry will now be underneath and the fruit on top. The apples may have moved slightly - use the tip of a small knife to re-position them if necessary. Serve at once, taking care as the caramel topping will be very hot. Delicious with cinnamon ice cream or creme fraiche.