Caramelised apples wrapped in puff pastry makes the best tart Tatins. These individual ones are designed to be easy but impressive enough for a dinner party. The cider-caramel sauce is a delicious finishing touch.
Peel the apples then cut each apple in half and remove the core.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan. Chuck in the butter and as it starts to melt add the sugar. Allow this to bubble away over a medium heat and you will notice the butter and sugar beginning to caramelise. Give the pan a shake so that it can colour evenly. Continue until the mixture is golden brown.
Put the apples into the pan flat-side down. The aim is to ¾ cook them. The butter and sugar will continue to darken and caramelise. Mahogany is a good colour, but if you sense by sight or smell that the caramel is burning then remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down before continuing.
After 4 minutes, flip the apples over – they should be a rich brown colour. If not, flip back and cook on. Once you’re happy, flip them over and give them 2 more minutes. Transfer the apples flat side-down and cool. Keep the caramel warm in the pan.
Roll out the puff pastry until it’s 4mm thick and cut out 4 discs wider than the apple.
Leaving the apple flat-side down on the paper, drape the puff pastry over the top and pinch it so that it gathers tightly over the rounded side of the apple leaving only the caramelised cut side exposed.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and spoon on 4 dessertspoons of caramel. Put the pastry-covered apples flat-side down on top of the caramel. They can now be chilled until needed.
Heat the oven to 200C/ fan 180C/gas 6. Slide the tray with the apples into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden. Gently reheat the caramel sauce and whisk in the cider.
Carefully turn the apples onto plates and serve caramelised side up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and extra sauce on the side.