1 quantity sweet pastry
plain (all-purpose) flour to dust
cream or ice cream to serve
For the filling:
200g/7oz/scant 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
125g/4oz/½ cup chilled butter
1.4kg/3lb dessert apples, e.g. Granny Smiths, peeled and cored
juice of ½ lemon
1 To make the filling, sprinkle the sugar over the bottom of a 20cm/8in ovenproof frying pan. Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter over the sugar. Halve the apples and pack them in tightly, cut-side up, on top of the butter.
2 Cook over a low–medium heat for 30 minutes, making sure it doesn’t bubble over or burn underneath, until the butter and sugar turn a dark golden brown. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with lemon juice. Set aside to cool.
3 Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.
4 Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to a round 2.5cm/1in larger than the pan. Prick several times with a fork. Lay it over the apples, tucking the edges down inside the pan.
5 Bake for 25–30 minutes until golden brown. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then upturn on to a serving plate.
6 Serve with cream or ice cream.