If you want to something a little bit more special the recipe below is perfect. Just a tip though – I have just made the caramel with my daughter as she is helping me this week and it took about 20 minutes watching the sugar melt then change colour VERY slowly. However it’s the trickiest bit of the recipe and once that’s done everything else is very straightforward.
Pkt of ready rolled puff pastry
100g / 3 ½ oz caster sugar
100g / 3 ½ oz unsalted butter, cubed
2 star anise, broken in half
700g / 1 ½ lb ripe apricots, halved and stoned
Ground star anise to sprinkle for serving
Preheat the oven to 200C / Fan 180C / Gas 6. Open the pastry out and roll it a bit, then cut it into a 23cm / 9 inch circle and set aside until needed.
Sprinkle the caster sugar in to a 20cm / 8inch tatin tin or frying pan and place over a low heat, swirling the pan once the sugar starts to melt and caramelise. When a deep golden caramel has formed, add the butter and star anise and whisk well. I usually take the pan off the heat to do this this and then turn the heat to low if the caramel won’t mix in. Arrange the apricots standing upright with their cut sides facing the same way in a spiral shape around the tin.
Place the pastry over the fruit, tucking it in over the edges of the outer apricots. Pierce the pastry several times with a knife to allow steam to escape. Place the tatin tin on a baking sheet and bake at 210C / Fan 190C / Gas 7 for 10 minutes before reducing the temperature to 190C / Fan 170C ./ gas 5 for a further 20-30 minutes, when the pastry should be a dark golden colour. Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes, then carefully invert onto a serving plate. Sprinkle over a little ground star anise and serve with thick cream or ice cream.
To get ahead: The tatin can be made up to 12 hours ahead and reheated in the tin for 10 minutes.
To freeze: Not suitable