One of my favourite things about Autumn is the abundance of apples it brings with it. Apple desserts are my favourite whether a simple apple and blackberry pie or a rather fancy tarte aux pommes.
In this instructable I've used two types of apple to make the most of both of their characteristics. I hope you give this a go and enjoy the results!
The ingredients you'll need are:
- 7oz (200g) plain flour
- 3.5oz (100g) butter, cubed and chilled
- 3-5 tablespoons of cold water
- 2 bramley apples, peeled and diced
- 50ml water
- 3oz (85g) light brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 6 Jazz apples
- 1-2 tablespoons of apricot jam
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Sugar for sprinkling
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Step 1: The Shortcrust Pastry
If you really wish you can purchase frozen or chilled shortcrust pastry from your supermarket. However, making shortcrust pastry is super easy if you've got a food processor so don't let pastry's reputation of being tricky put you off. Do bear in mind though that pastry hates heat so make sure your ingredients are all cold and that you don't handle it too much with your warm hands!
The basic rule with shortcrust pastry is use half the amount of fat to flour. As I have a large tart tin I'm going to use:
• 7oz (200g) plain flour
• 3.5oz (100g) butter, cubed and chilled
• 3-5 tablespoons of cold water.
1. Pop the flour and butter into a food processor with the standard blade attachment. Pulse until the butter and flour look like breadcrumbs.
2. Add, tablespoon by tablespoon, the cold water. Keep pulsing and a dough should form. Don't feel you need to use all the water.
3. Once a rough dough has formed tip it out onto a lightly(!) floured surface and roll into a ball. Flatten it slightly into a disc shape and then wrap it in cling film and pop into the freezer for 10 minutes.
Step 2: The Apple Puree
On top of the pastry I've put a layer of puréed apple. I made this using bramley apples which are a bit more tart and used specifically for cooking. I find this helps to really add to the apple flavour.
• 2 bramley apples, peeled and diced
• 50ml water
• 3oz (85g) light brown sugar
• 1 tsp cinnamon
1. Pop all the ingredients into a saucepan on a medium heat.
2. Stir frequently until the apples are soft and mushy.
3. Remove from heat and use a masher to really break up the rest of the apple chunks. Leave to one side.
Step 3: Blind Bake the Tart Case
Once your dough is chilled you can removed from the freezer and roll it out. Again, bear in mind the temperature, so don't leave it out for too long or handle it too much.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is larger than your tin and about 4mm thick.
- Gently lift the dough over the tin and using your fingers press it into the grooves.
- Trim the excess dough down to 2cm around the tin.
- Prick the dough all over with a fork - this is to try and prevent the dough rising. If you have baking beads (I wish I did) line the pastry with some greasproof paper and top with the beads.
- Bake for 20 minutes in an overn preheated to 190c/375f until lightly golden.
Step 4: Preparing the Apples!
This is easily the most time consuming part of the entire process. For the top layer of apples I used 6 Jazz apples which are naturally sweeter to complement the more tart Bramley purée.
- Peel each apple, this is not mandatory but I prefer them peeled, and cut into quarters.
- Using a sharp knife cut fine 'leaves' of apple from each quarter.
- Pop into a bowl with a little lemon juice and toss to prevent browning.
Step 5: Assembly
Once your tart crust has blind baked and cooled a little you can spread your puree over it. Then starting on the outside edge slowly place the sheets of apple around the outside ensuring they slightly overlap each other. Continue to build this spiral up until you reach the centre. Once you reach the centre fold the thinnest slice of apple you can into a circle and place it in the middle to form the centre of the flower. Sprinkle with a little sugar.
Bake in the over for around 20 minutes. A few minutes before it is ready heat 1-2 tablespoons of apricot jam in a microwave. Remove the tart from the oven and brush over the jam to give it a beautiful shine.
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Uppermost Chef: Apples Challenge
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