This recipe is from the story, ‘Apples and tarts: If only Eve thought of these desserts‘.
16 small to medium size Fuji apples
400g shortcrust pastry*
* For a homemade sweet shortcrust pastry recipe.
To prepare filling
Preheat oven to 180℃. Melt the butter in a heavy-base pan over low heat. Remove from heat and sprinkle the sugar evenly over the butter. Stir and return to heat. Cook over low heat until the sugar starts to brown and caramelise. Remove pan from heat and keep caramel warm.
Peel, halve and core apples. Arrange, cut side down, in a non-stick baking pan, or silicone mat placed on a baking tray, and spoon the caramel over each apple half to coat it evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
To prepare pastry base
Preheat the oven to 180℃. Roll out the shortcrust pastry to a 23cm round shape. Half bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool and trim to fit the mould if necessary.
To assemble and bake
Preheat the oven to 180℃. Tightly pack the cooled apple halves, standing on their sides, in a buttered 21 x 4cm (height) round, non-stick pan or silicone mould, starting from the circumference and working towards the centre. Top with the shortcrust pastry and gently pat it into place. Bake for 20 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and place a weight on top. Set in the fridge to cool and firm up, about 2 hours.
Invert the tart onto a serving platter or board. Cut it up into wedges or squares. Serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.