Cook Book Challenge: Week 30

This week is the final installment of the Cook Book Challenge taken from this mini-series (because I am a genius and did #10 weeks ago). Next week we shall return to your regularly-sized version. 

Gary Mehigan is another well-known Melbourne chef. He was well known before becoming a judge on MasterChef, but since has become a household name. He began his cheffing career in London before moving to Melbourne and opening a plethora of award-winning restaurants. This book is named after, and full of, my favourite types of eats: comfort food. It's particularly comforting during this cooler part of the year. Choosing a recipe was almost impossible.

First up, I did make Gary's "Mum's Lamb Stew With Dumplings" because yum

But really, that was nowhere near challenging enough for the cook book challenge. So I went with the Apple Tarte Tatin instead. I've always wanted to try a tarte tatin but I never owned a skillet pan. I went on a shopping trip and got an amazing two-for-one deal on a high quality brand of skillet that was then half price again. Shopping for kitchen accesories excites me more than could probably be considered normal, but I am so in love with them.

As much as I've always wanted to try them, they've always intimidated me slightly. I think it's the whole having to invert it post baking and hope for the best. Or maybe cause they always make a massive dramatic deal over it in MasterChef. Either way, it was actually pretty easy. 

More than that, it was amazingly tasty. We had it with ice cream. I was sure this would be a difficult one to finish after we'd just stuffed ourselves on roast pork with gravy, apple sauce and all the trimmings. Surprisingly, despite how heavy it looks, this dish tastes really light and refreshing.

Here's Gary's recipe.

Apple Tarte Tatin


375g prepared butter puff pastry, thawed
7 granny smith apples, peeled, quatered, cored
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
200g caster sugar
70g unsalted butter, chopped


  1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 180°C.
  2. Roll out the puff pastry into a round that is 2-3 cm bigger than an ovenproof 26cm cast-iron frying pan. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and place it on a baking tray in the fridge to rest. Meanwhile, mix the apple with the lemon zest and juice and set aside. 
  3. Cover the base of the frying pan with the sugar and top with the butter. Place the pan over high heat and stir for 4 minutes or until the sugar and butter turns a light caramel colour. Remove the pan from the heat. Place the apples on top of the caramel in concentric circles, starting from the outside of the pan and working your way into the centre. Lay the pastry on top of the apples and use a spoon or your fingers to push the pastry down around the apples against the edge of the pan (effectively tucking them in as if with a blanket). 
  4. Bake the tart for 35 minutes or until the pastry is deep golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes. Place your hand on top of the pastry and gently rotate the tart a few centimetres to ensure it has not stuck to the base of the pan. If it has, pop the pan back into the oven for 2 minutes to melt the caramel a little.
  5. Place a plate over the tart and invert the pan in one smooth movement so that the pan is now on top. Life off the pan to reveal the tart. Serve slices of the tarte tatin with a generous dollop of cream or ice cream. 

You'll find the printable version of this recipe here.


2 thoughts on “Cook Book Challenge: Week 30

  1. I love having a dessert I hadn’t tried before. It was very delicious, and like you said, not too heavy.

    I really like the last photo. Like I said on the night, it reminds me of something (seeing that round ball of ice cream on top), but I still can’t think what it is yet.

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