Crisp autumn apples… sweet, crumbly pastry… deep,
indulgent filling… the perfect tart is easy as pie.
Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling time
Cooking time: 50 minutes
You will need:
9in/23cm fluted flan tin with loose bottom
For the pastry (makes 375g):
190g plain flour
100g cold butter, plus extra for the top
1 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 medium egg, beaten with 1 tbsp cold water
For the filling:
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
3 tbsp caster sugar
4 medium-size Bramley apples, peeled
For the topping:
3-4 green and red Golden Delicious (or use a single colour)
Softly whipped double cream, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4. Rub the flour, salt
and butter together to make fine crumbs (or use a processor).
Mix in the sugar, add the egg mix and combine with a knife,
until the mixture clumps together (known as cutting in).
Form into a soft ball with your hands, flatten a little and wrap in cling film.
Chill for around 10 minutes, during which time make the apple purée.
2. Put the butter, vanilla and sugar into a pan and heat gently, to melt the butter.
Thinly slice the peeled Bramley apples straight into the pan, stirring after each apple.
Cover and cook on a low heat for around six minutes, or until the apples are really soft,
stirring once. Whisk to a purée and tip into a bowl to cool.
If you want a smooth purée, use a wand blender.
3. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface, until large enough to line the tin.
Drape over the edges and press into them. Roll the pin over the pastry for a clean edge,
then push it into the flutes. Prick the base with a fork and chill for 20 minutes.
Line the inside with baking paper and a layer of dried beans (they stop the pastry puffing up).
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Turn the oven down to 170°C/325°F/Gas mark 3.
Remove the beans and paper, and bake for a further five minutes.
4. Cut each Golden Delicious apple into four and remove the core.
Divide each piece into around eight thin slices.
Spoon the apple purée into the base and arrange the slices in two
overlapping circles, starting on the outside, then reverse the direction for the
inner circle and add a couple of cut pieces to the centre.
Melt the extra butter and brush over the apples, dust with sugar
and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the apples are tender.
Serve with the cream.
Tip: If the apple slices start to go brown during preparation
(or you want to prepare them in advance),
put into cold water with a squeeze of lemon.
When ready to use, drain and pat dry to remove any excess water.
The pastry can be used for savoury tarts,
such as quiches by leaving out the sugar.