Mandarin or Naartjie?

In South Africa most Mandarin or Tangerine varieties of citrus are known by their Afrikaans name, Naartjies. The Afrikaans word apparently originates from the Tamil narattai citrus. It is pronounced na’ki or nar’chi depending on which part of the country you are in!

You need

1 packet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted

4-6 small naartjies or mandarins (preferably use seedless variety), peeled

egg wash (1 beaten egg mixed with 15ml water or milk)


150g light brown sugar

50ml warm water

100g butter

23cm diameter non stick cake pan or frying pan that has a metal handle. I bought a cake pan specifically for Tart Tatin! If using a 23cm pan I double the above caramel recipe.

To prepare

Before you start the caramel prepare the following:

The pastry: Unroll the defrosted pastry and cut a circle 2cm wider than the cake pan.

The fruit: Slice the mandarins into 10-15mm thick slices.


Finally prepare the caramel: Using the frying pan or a saucepan heat the sugar and water dissolving the sugar before it boils. Heat the syrup with stirring until it starts turning pale golden. Pull the pan off the heat and stir the butter in….. it will bubble vigorously may splash so be careful!

Allow the butterscotch to settle in the base of the pan or pour half of it into the cake pan.

Arrange the mandarin slices in the base of the pan. Work quickly before the remaining caramel sets and cools. If it does set add 50ml water & heat slowly until the caramel has dissolved. If you are not brave enough to do this, pour all the caramel into the base of the pan….. it really does not matter!

Top with the remaining caramel.

Place the pastry over the mandarin slices and tuck the extra cm edges in.

Paint the surface of the pastry with egg wash.

Bake at 190°C for 30-35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and carefully ease the pastry from the pan edge with a teflon or bamboo scraper, being careful not to scratch the non-stick surface.


Invert a serving plate over the pan, and being careful not to burn, turn it over. Leave the inverted pan over the serving dish for a few minutes for all the butterscotch to pour over the fruit.

Serve warm with thick cream or good quality vanilla ice cream. If desired, flavour the cream with cardamom or a dash of citrus flavoured liqueur.