Caramelised Apple Flan
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course Serves 4-6
To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, holding the sieve up as high as possible to give the flour an airing. Then cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour. Now, using your fingertips, lightly and gently rub the pieces of fat into the flour – lifting your hands up high as you do this (again to incorporate air) and being as quick as possible.When the mixture looks uniformly crumbly, start to sprinkle roughly 1 tablespoon of cold water all over. Use a round-bladed knife to start the mixing, cutting and bringing the mixture together. Carefully add more water if needed, a little at a time, then finally bring the mixture together with your hands to form a smooth ball of dough that will leave the bowl clean (if there are any bits that won't adhere to it, you need a spot more water).
Now rest the pastry, wrapped in foil or in a polythene bag, in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes before rolling out. Cover the base of the prepared tin with brown sugar, pressing it down evenly and well. Now sprinkle on the cinnamon, and then arrange the sliced apples neatly, the Cox's first, making sure they're pressed well down.Roll out the pastry to a thickness of about ½ in (1 cm) and cut out a circle that will fit the top of the tin. Cover the apples with the pastry, pressing it down gently.
Place in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden.When the tart is quite cold, loosen it round the edges, cover with a plate and carefully turn it all upside down, then remove the tin and the silicone paper.
As this always reminds me of Provence, I like to serve it with crème fraîche.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).