Heston Blumenthal’s take on the classic French Tart Tatin dish with a signature twist, his Tart Tatin recipe made with Peaches and Rosemary, made in tribute to Kavey Eats.
One of the great things about starting this blog has been getting to talk to and make friends with some great and talented people. Many of them, like Gary (BigSpud), Kita (I Want to Cook Like Heston) and Auldo (the Big Fat Undertaking) share our passion for all things Heston. We have huge respect for them, and the fun, fascinating blogs that they’ve created.
Though it’s not as Heston-focused as some of those others one of the blogs we genuinely respect is Kavey Eats. Kavey is an incredibly gifted and prolific blogger – her passion, enthusiasm and skill are evident in every single one of her wonderful posts. We’d highly recommend following her, on both her blog and on twitter. One of the great things about Kavey is her generosity and kindness. She even takes time out to help clumsy idiots like us.
One of our favourite recent posts of hers was her creation of a flat peach Tart Tatin recipe. It’s similar to a recipe from Heston at Home we’ve been waiting to try out. We don’t make Tart Tatin nearly enough, but thanks to Kavey’s help and guidance we felt confident about trying this recipe out. She really is a bit of a hero of ours.
Special Equipment: Oven-safe pan or dish
Special Ingredients: None
Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves: 4- 6
- 4 – 6 Ripe Peaches
- 500g Puff Pastry
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 100g Unsalted Butter
- 5 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
- 60ml double cream
- 100g Caster Sugar
- 85g Unsalted Butter
- 300g Whipping Cream
- 20g Icing Sugar
- Peel peaches and slice each into 3 wedges around the stone
- Place 200g sugar into a pan over a medium heat
- When sugar is half melted stir thoroughly
- When all sugar is melted add butter and mix everything to combine
- Arrange peach wedges on top of caramel, leave a gap for pastry
- Roll pastry over the pan, roll back edges, tuck pastry into pan
- Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown
- Meanwhile heat cream & rosemary until simmering, infuse for 20 minutes
- Melt 100 g sugar in pan then add 85g butter, as in steps 2 – 4
- Add infused cream to caramel and stir to combine
- Whip whipping cream & icing sugar to medium peaks, refrigerate until needed
- Remove tatin from oven when cooked. Cool for 5 minutes
- Invert onto a plate, cool for a further 5 minutes, then lift away pan / baking tin
- Pour rosemary caramel onto tatin, cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream
Step 1: Peaches
I’m still not a confident caramelist, so I dread leaving the pan unattended. We prepped the peaches first to avoid any burnt sugar woes.
Heston’s Peach Tart Tatin recipe calls for the peaches to be peeled then cut into 3 wedges around the stone. By the fourth peach even a haphazard oaf like me had gotten the hang of it.
Step 2: Caramel
Caramel time. We’ve tried a few different approaches to making caramel over the years, some less successful than others.
Heston’s Peach Tart Tatin caramel recipe asks you to let the caramel melt about half way, then give the contents of the pan a good stir to mix everything up. Add the butter once it’s all melted.
We like this method for a couple of reasons:
1. Our pan heats unevenly, so we usually end up with dark brown caramel on one side and lukewarm sugar granules on the other.
2. We’re not fans of very dark caramels, which you can end up with quite quickly. This method mixes the cooler and hotter contents ensuring more even heat-distribution, so it’s more controlled and safer overall.
Since our pans all have plastic handles we tipped the caramel into a solid-bottomed cake tin for baking. It’s best to arrange the peaches with a bit of space between the fruit and the side of the pan. This’ll make it easier when you come to tuck in your pastry.
To add a bit of extra texture we scattered in a few pistachios that had been “toasted” during the time it took for the oven to come up to temperature (an idea that came from a bit of twitter brainstorming with Kavey – another fine reason to follow her on twitter as well as her blog).
Step 3: Pastry
Heston recommends rolling your pastry out between two sheets of greaseproof paper. We use clingfilm, which is a little bit cheaper (recommended by Modernist Cuisine, too).
Another pro tip from Kavey here. Roll your pasty out over the Tatin tin / pan and then trim it to size, which is much easier. You can then neatly tuck it in around the edges of the pan around the fruit. Or just jam it in ham-fistedly like I did.
No, need for an egg wash or anything, it just needs 35- 40 minutes in the oven.
Step 4: Rosemary Caramel
There’s a much older Heston Blumenthal recipe for a nectarine tart tatin in his recipe book Family Food that’s similar to the Heston at Home Peach and Rosemary Tart Tatin recipe. In that older recipe Heston cooks the fruit using cartouches, two-an-a-half litres of sugar syrup and a battalion of varied spices. Which all then needs to be cooled and separated before tatin-cooking can commence. A version of the recipe can be found here.
Before starting on this recipe we expected there to be some sort of complicated trick for infusing rosemary flavours into the peaches, but there’s nothing of the sort. Instead you’re asked to make a Rosemary-infused caramel sauce, which is a simple affair of heating up some cream with some rosemary sprigs in it, then leaving it to infuse for 20 minutes.
You then sieve this rosemary-cream and add it to more caramel, made exactly the same way as the batch in step 2 (we just plucked out the sprigs and poured our cream into the caramel pan). Using the same pan for both caramels was convenient too. Remember to reheat everything to melt the sugar if the cream causes it to harden.
Hey-Presto! Rosemary caramel.
Step 5: Serving
Once the tatin is out of the oven Heston recommends leaving it to sit for 5 minutes. This gives the caramel a chance to cool and the pastry to contract, and means the tart will be easier to turn out.
Then a confident flip with a plate on top should, should free the tart. Then another 5 minutes of cooling so the caramel firms up. Our tatin came out easily, but this may have been down to the non-stick baking tin rather than any actual skill on my part. The rosemary caramel should be poured onto the tart at this point.
You’re also meant to whisk up some cream along with a bit of icing sugar, but we just used plain whipped cream as there’s already a lot of sugar in this recipe. We also used the same double cream from the rosemary-caramel rather than a separate tub of whipping cream to cut down on waste.
“Hmmmmm”, we thought as we carried Heston’s Peach and Rosemary Tart Tatin to the table. “This looks a little bit wet”.
Sure enough when we cut into the tart tatin a flood of dark syrup burst across the plate like a sugary Leviathan Summon. What is this liquid? Have the cell walls of the peaches broken down during cooking to release this juice? We just don’t know.
Thankfully it didn’t manage to soak into the pastry, which was slightly underdone anyway. That’s either because I rolled it too thickly or because it would’ve liked another ten minutes in the oven. We wanted shatteringly crisp, not squidgy middle. Lesson learned.
With caramel on the fruit and pastry and liquid caramel pouring off the tart, the addition of more caramel (with rosemary in it) seemed like it’d be overkill. But, used sparingly, it adds a lightness of flavour without becoming sickly.
This was a fun and interesting variation, and thanks to Kavey’s typically exceptional post and generous guidance we’ve become confident enough that we’d make more tart tatins in future.
Our next tart tatin will likely be of the traditional apple variety. Not that we didn’t like our Heston Blumenthal Peach and Rosemary Tart Tatin recipe, it’s just that apple is a classic.
We’d skip the infused caramel too. With an apple tatin we might pop some vanilla pods or cinnamon quills in with the caramel before the tatin bakes, or add a dusting of cinnamon to the peeled apples for a cheaper but equally effective hit of extra flavour.
We know excess heat can destroy some of the delicate flavour compounds in fresh herbs, but if making this exact recipe again we’d risk adding rosemary to the pan before putting in the fruit, in the same way as we’d add cinnamon sticks to apples.
Not that we’d necessarily go with rosemary if we did make a peach tart tatin again. Heston has often said “peaches and cloves have an affinity due to the compounds they have in common”, so we might try adding those for a more warming winter flavour. Although some of you already know my feelings about cloves.
Is Tart Tatin a classic that shouldn’t be altered, or would you try Heston’s Peach with Rosemary Tart Tatin recipe? What other fruits or changes do you think can make the traditional tart tatin recipe more fun? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section.