Britannia's Executive Chef, Mark Alston, is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of Scotland' most talented chefs. Trained at the Marriott Dalmahoy in Edinburgh, and latterly at Mandarin Oriental in London, he first joined Britannia in 2008 as Executive Sous Chef.
Passionate about using only the finest Scottish ingredients to create his exceptional menus, Mark loves the challenge of cooking in Britannia's original Royal Galleys for our private and corporate events.
This week, we are delighted to bring you one of his treasured recipes - the delicious Apple Tarte Tatin.
Apple Tarte Tatin with vanilla ice cream
You will need: 5 x individual non-stick pans/tins (approx. 12cm diameter), thermometer.
Ingredients: 350g puff pastry (cut into 5 discs, roughly 3mm thick, 11cm wide), 8 Granny Smith apples, 135g butter, Vanilla ice cream.
For rum-soaked raisins: 125g golden raisins, 50ml rum, 250ml water, 250g caster sugar
For caramel sauce: 500g sugar, 400g double cream, 200g water
- Pre-heat oven to 170°C/Gas Mark 3. Grease the individual tart pans/tins. For the rum-soaked raisins, bring the sugar, water and rum to the boil and pour over the raisins. Stir and cover with clingfilm then leave to infuse (preferably somewhere warm), for approximately one hour.
- For the caramel sauce, place the sugar and water in a pan over a medium heat and mix to combine. Don't be tempted to continually stir the mixture, stir only once at the beginning, otherwise it may crystallise. Wait until the mixture is a medium dark caramel, then add the cream. Be careful as this will bubble and spit - stir until the cream is cooked out and it is all combined with the mixture. Strain into a clean pan. The consistency can be changed to your preference by adding more or less cream. A splash of Calvados or brandy is a nice touch, but not essential.
- Place the caramel in a pan over a medium heat and take mixture to 160°C (it should be quite dark in colour). Pour a small ladleful into each mini individual pan and leave to harden.
- Meanwhile, peel, core and quarter the apples. Roll segments in melted butter (135g) to evenly coat them. Arrange the apple quarters in the mini pans neatly - 6 segments each. Bake in the oven for about 20 mins or until soft. Leave to cool.
- Place a pastry disc on top of each pan and tuck in the edges neatly. Bake once more for 15-18 mins at 160°C until pastry is cooked. Turn tarts out onto a clean tray (this must be done when still hot - be careful as the caramel may splash out and will be very hot).
- To assemble: Drain the raisins. Have the tarts, raisins and sauce all hot. Serve by scattering the raisins around the tart and top with a ball of good-quality vanilla ice cream and spoon over some caramel sauce.
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