1.Peel, quarter and core apples.
2.Melt butter in heavy-based frying pan with an ovenproof handle (23cm base measurement, 28cm top measurement, or a paella pan also works well). Stir in the sugar and water and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.
3.Add the apples to the pan and simmer gently, uncovered and turning the apples frequently so they cook evenly, over a very low heat for 30 minutes or until the apples are almost tender and syrup becomes a light caramel.
4.Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
5.Remove the pan from the heat and arrange the apple quarters as desired. Cool for 10 minutes. Place the pastry over the apples and tuck the edges of the pastry around the apples.
6.Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry is well browned and crisp. Stand for 10 minutes before turning onto a heatproof serving plate.
The apples can be cooked ahead of time and left in the pan, covered, in the fridge. The tarte tatin can be finished and transported in the pan if you’re picnicking – simply reheat on the barbecue or fire before turning out and serving warm.Note