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_MG_4161The clas­sic French dessert tarte Tat­in is simple to make and, with its com­bin­a­tion of light golden puff pastry, soft juicy apples and deli­cious car­a­mel, is a fam­ily favour­ite. It’s lovely served hot or cold with vanilla whipped cream or ice cream, or in the case of a pear tarte Tat­in, with some lovely wal­nut or maple ice cream. This recipe makes four gen­er­ous portions.


  • 40g salted butter
  • 100g white sugar
  • 2–3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into eight wedges
  • One sheet of ready-rolled but­ter puff pastry


  1. Smear the but­ter over the base and sides of a cold oven­proof fry­ing pan (approx­im­ately 25–26cm diameter).
  2. Evenly dis­trib­ute the sug­ar over the butter.
  3. Arrange the apples, side down, start­ing on the out­side and work­ing into the centre. They will reduce in volume slightly as they cook.
  4. If neces­sary, roll the pastry out slightly so that it cov­ers the top of the pan. Cut off any excess, leav­ing enough to tuck down the inside of the pan. Make a small hole in the centre of the pastry.
  5. Put the fry­ing pan onto the stove and cook on a medi­um heat until you see the juices at the edges of the pastry bub­bling and turn­ing amber. To get even car­a­mel­isa­tion, gently swirl the pan over the stove element.
  6. Once the juices are evenly car­a­mel­ized, remove the pan and put it in the centre of an oven pre-heated to 180˚C. Bake until the pastry is golden — approx­im­ately 15–20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave cool.
  8. To turn the tart out, place the pan back on the stove over a gentle heat. Swirl the pan — this just loosens the tof­fee base. Put a large plate covered with a fol­ded tea tow­el over the top of the pan, then quickly flip the plate and pan upside down, turn­ing the tart out onto the plate.
  9. Let it cool slightly before serving.

Serves 4

Paul Hoather

Paul started cooking in Nelson at 15, before heading overseas to the UK and Australia. Returning in the 1980s, he became head chef of restaurants including Champerelle and La Spaghettata, before opening the iconic White House in 1992. his food can be described as moder Kiwi influences from around the world. With a philosophy of freshness, he even grows herbs and lettuces on the restaurant roof. Hoather, his wife Louise, and their two dogs and avid hunters. Whether it is a week away trout fishing in Nelson or pheasant shooting up north, they both like nothing better than packing the tent and escaping to some secret spots.

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