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Last weekend I got so fed up with all this endless doom and gloom in the skies that I decided to make something summery for dessert on Sunday.

And summer means drinks in the garden, as everyone knows.

So I got a bit creative.

That’s right. I cooked with Pimms.

And you know what? The results were gorgeous, although it was slightly trickier using the individual tartlets, but just like me I occasionally like things to be complicated.

I give you the very first-so-far-as-I-know ‘Vanilla and Pimms Apple Tatin’.

I defy you not to eat them all in one sitting. I was only saved by the fact my parents were round for supper, so we had 1½ each.

One note of caution folks, hot caramel burns. Do not attempt this with small folk attached to one ankle or try to taste the caramel to see if it is done. Allow to cool before eating – I left mine out for an hour and they were still warm on the inside. And flip safely when you get to that stage!

apple tart

 Vanilla and Pimms Apple Tatin


  • ½ pack puff pastry (I used 1 sheet out of the Jus-Roll ready rolled which came with 2 sheets)
  • 3 eating apples, about 850g (you would need 5 or 6, about 1kg if doing this as one tart)
  • 100g sugar
  • 100ml Pimms
  • ½ vanilla pod, halved lengthways and seeds scraped out ready to use
  • Dab of butter, probably about 40-50g worth
  • Butter for greasing


Grease your tins, or tin, and place on a baking tray. This needs to go on a baking tray as the caramel may boil over and you’ll regret it the next time you need to use the oven. Pre heat your oven to 175°.

Peel and core your apples, then halve if you’re creating individual tarts, or slice as finely as you can if you’re making one big tart. Place your apples into the dishes. If you want to get fancy schmancy, slice and layer them; I may do this next time. Layer a large tart otherwise it’ll be hard to slice.

Roll out your pastry if you need to and either cut out 6 individual tarts or a base wide enough to cover your large tart dish.

Place your vanilla pod, seeds, Pimms and sugar in a pan and place over a medium warm heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Watch your caramel like a hawk. Take your eye off it at your peril.  Allow to do no more than simmer – it won’t take long when it gets to this stage.

When it is light brown and smelling gorgeously edible, remove from the heat and mix in the dab of butter until melted and incorporated.

Pour your caramel over the apples, then immediately put your pan into hot water. Hard caramel sticks like billyo, just in case you’ve done it a bit too much!

Tuck the pastry round the top, using a spoon handle to push the pastry down the sides of each dish so you don’t touch the caramel.

Put in the oven for 25-30 minutes until puffy and golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 -10 minutes before turning out. Do this extremely carefully using a board or a plate larger than each container before flipping them out.

Arrange, drool, eat with crème fraiche and wish you’d thought to buy ice cream.