For a taste of Spring, an apple tart is our go-to dessert – whether served after a meal with friends or as Sunday mid-afternoon treat. Deliciously tasty and easy to make, this recipe will have you and your guests reaching for seconds.
For the pastry
250g plain flour
Pinch sea salt
125g unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
1 tsp cold water
1 medium free-range egg
For the filling
15g unsalted butter
½ tbsp lemon juice
65g caster sugar
½ tbsp Calvados apple brandy
3-4 cooking apples, peeled, cores removed, each cut into 10 segments
100ml double cream
1 medium free-range egg
1-2 tbsp icing sugar, for dusting
- For the pastry, pulse together the flour, butter and salt in a food processor until you reach a sandy texture. Add the egg, water and pulse again. If you over mix the dough at this stage it will lose its flakiness.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead with the palms of your hands for 30seconds, or until the dough is smooth and well combined.
- With the palm of your hand flatten the dough slightly to 1cm thickness, and sandwich it between two large sheets of cling film. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/440°F/Gas 7. Place a baking tray into the oven to preheat.
- Roll the chilled dough, still sandwiched in cling film, to a 2mm thickness. Place individual tart rings on a greaseproof lined baking tray. Remove the top layer of cling film and carefully pick up the dough, place it into the tart rings with the second layer of cling film facing up. Lift and tuck the dough into the edges of the rings and discard the clingfilm. By tucking in the base you will minimise the shrinking of the dough during cooking. Trim off any excess with a butter knife.
- Using your index finger and thumb, pinch and press the dough until it’s 2mm above the tart rings all around the edge. With a fork, prick the bottom of the tarts. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, for the filling, heat the butter, lemon juice and 15g of the sugar in a small saucepan until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the Calvados. Set aside.
- When the tart cases have chilled, arrange the apple segments in concentric circles, overlapping the apple slices as you go. Brush the apples all over with the Calvados mixture. Slide the tart rings onto the pre-heated baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6, then continue to cook for a further 20 minutes, until the pastry is pale golden-brown and the apples have caramelised.
- Whisk together the double cream, egg and the remaining 50g caster sugar until well combined. When the pastry is pale golden-brown and the apples have caramelised, sprinkle the tart with a tablespoon of sugar and pour the custard mixture into the tart, bake for a further 10 minutes, until the filling mixture has just set.
- To serve, remove the tarts from the oven and set aside for one hour to cool slightly, then carefully remove the tart rings. Dust all over with icing sugar. Serve immediately on our marble board.
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