A tarte Tatin is always a wonderful thing. It is one of those desserts that just works in any situation. Flexible and adaptable, tarte Tatin can be made with very many different fruits. I love cooked pineapple and I think it works beautifully here.
250g puff pastry
75g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
1 medium-sized pineapple
vanilla ice cream, coconut sorbet or crème fraîche
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut out a 26cm disc, slightly larger than the top of a 20cm tarte tatin dish or reliably non-stick cast-iron frying pan. Transfer to a baking sheet and chill for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, spread the butter over the base of the tarte tatin dish or frying pan, and sprinkle over the sugar in a thick, even layer.
Cut the top and bottom off the pineapple, trim the skin off the side and slice into rounds, each about 5cm thick.
Tightly pack the pineapple slices into the tarte tatin dish or frying pan and place over a medium heat. Cook for 20–25 minutes, gently shaking the pan now and then, until the butter and sugar have mixed with the pineapple juices to produce a rich sauce and the pineapple is just tender. At first the caramel will be pale and there might be some liquid from the juices of the pineapple, but as you keep on cooking, the juices will evaporate and the butter and sugar will become darker and thicker. Just take care that the butter and sugar do not burn. When the pineapple has been caramelised, remove the pan from the heat.
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C Fan (190°C/Gas Mark 5).
Gently place the pastry on top of the pineapple slices and tuck the edges down inside the pan. Prick the pastry 5 or 6 times with the tip of a small, sharp knife, transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the pastry is puffed up, crisp and golden.
Remove the tart from the oven and leave it to rest for 5 minutes. Run a knife round the edge of the tart and invert it onto a round, flat serving plate. Serve warm, cut into wedges, with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.
Buy this book
Jack Stein’s World on a Plate: Local produce, world flavours, exciting food
£26, Absolute Press
Extract taken from Jack Stein’s World on a Plate by Jack Stein (Absolute Press, £26)
Photography © Paul Winch-Furness