Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place the sugar in a thick-based 20cm frying pan that can go in the oven. Place the pan over medium heat, add the sugar and heat until melted. Do NOT stir it! You can swirl the pan once or twice if really necessary. Once the sugar is melted, remove pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Keep on stirring until the butter combines with the sugar.
Place a sprig of rosemary in the middle of the pan. Cover completely with apricots, putting the cut side down in the caramel. If necessary, roll out the puff pastry to ensure it is 2cm wider than the pan. Place pastry over apricots, tuck edges in and make a slit or two in the pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake until puffed up and golden brown – about 25 minutes. Allow tarte tatin to stand for a minute, then place a serving plate over the pan, ensuring that you hold it down securely. In a quick movement, flip the pan over so the tarte tatin slips out onto the plate. (NB: if you do not do this while it is still hot, the pie will not slip out! Naturally you need to use oven gloves or a dish cloth here as it will be fiery to the touch.) Serve warm and graciously accept the compliments.
ABOUT THE KRONE BOREALIS BRUT 2018
Two of the three traditional Champagne varieties, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (no Pinot Meunier), are used in this vintage-only Méthode Cap Classique. The 2018 harvest was a small but healthy one, resulting in pure fruit expression on the base wine. As with all MCCs, the Borealis is bottle-fermented in true Champagne-style and then aged on the lees in their underground cellar.
Iridescent gold and elegant with a fine-beaded mousse, you’ll find bursts of elderflower, apple blossom and orange peel on the nose. It’s taut and fresh on the palate with lovely naartjie notes developing into salted caramel. That ‘biscuityness’ that I love so much on an MCC is still quite subtle, but promises to evolve as this wine ages.