Take the puff pastry from the fridge. Place the pastry over a sheet of parchment paper, then place a 26 cm (10 1/2 - inch) plate in the center of the pastry, ensuring it covers the pastry completely. Using a knife, cut out a circle the size of the plate. Remove the leftover puff pastry. Brush the circle with melted butter and prick it with a fork. Transfer the prepared pastry with the parchment paper to a baking sheet and place it in the fridge or, even better, in a freezer until needed. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 200 °C / 390 °F or 190 °C / 375 °F (fan-assisted oven).
apricots and caramel
Cut the apricots in half and remove the kernels. Place a 24 cm (9 1/2 - inch) oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar and cook for about 6 - 8 minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the caramel is beautifully golden brown. Don't stir the sugar, but feel free to shake the saucepan in a circular motion from time to time to evenly distribute the sugar. Remove from the heat, and add small cubes of butter and vanilla paste. Add the apricots and stir to combine to coat the apricots evenly. Arrange the apricots evenly over the pan and set aside for 5 minutes for the apricots to cool slightly.
bake the apricot tarte tatin
Take the prepared puff pastry from the fridge or freezer and place it on top. Tuck the pastry down the sides of the pan. Transfer the skillet with the Apricot Tarte Tatin into the preheated oven on the middle rack. Bake for 20 minutes at 200 °C / 390 °F or at 190 °C / 375 °F if you are using a fan-assisted oven. Bake until the pastry is beautifully golden-brown and baked.
Apricot Tarte Tatin
Remove the baked Apricot Tarte Tatin from the oven. Leave in a skillet for one hour to cool. Place a large plate on top of the skillet and carefully pour the caramel from the Tarte Tatin into a small bowl. Then place a large serving plate on top of the puff pastry and invert. Carefully remove the skillet, cut into six equal slices, and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and some of that preserved caramel from baking.