Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Caramelised Apple Tart
This utterly divine soft set tart is something you might find in Normandy. In fact, whilst the recipe doesn’t call for it, the judicious use of calvados, that divine Norman spirit, at just the right time would be a winner here. You might even consider putting some in the tart as well.
This tart will feed 8.
You will need:
(For the sweet pastry)
225g plain flour
150g unsalted butter, softened
1 level tbsp caster sugar
2 egg yolks beaten with 1 tbsp cold water
(for the filling)
900g Cox or Granny Smith apples
1 cinnamon stick
50g lightly salted butter
110g granulated sugar
200ml crème fraiche
1 tsp vanilla extract
You also need a deep, fluted tart tin about 23cm in diameter.
And then you need to:
First make the pastry. Chuck all the pastry ingredients into a food processor and whizz until the mixture forms crumbs. Tip out and bring it together by hand, don’t overdo it though, light touches required.
Pop the pastry into a plastic bag and chill in the fridge for 45 minutes. The pastry, not you.
Once rested roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a circle at least 30cm diameter and carefully lift into the tart tin. Press gently into place and trim the edges.
Chill again in the fridge for a further 20mins. Heat the oven to 200C/400F
Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice, and bake blind on a baking sheet for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and the beans/rice and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Meanwhile prepare the apples. Peel and core them and chop into eighths. Place half of them in a saucepan with the cinnamon and 1 tbsp of water. If you have used granny Smiths also chuck in a small tsp of sugar. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until softened.
Remove the cinnamon and beat the apples to a puree.
Then melt the salted butter in a frying pan, add the sugar and allow to bubble together to form a fudgy caramel sauce, then continue to cook it over a lowish heat until it darkens to a rich toffee colour. Add the remaining sliced apples and toss them to coat. It will go a bit messy at first but as the apples release their juices it will all go smooth again.
Cook for about 5 minutes then set to one side.
Spread the apple puree over the pastry base, then lift the apple slices out of the caramel sauce and arrange over the apple puree. In a separate bowl whisk together the crème fraîche, the egg and the vanilla extract, then add the caramel sauce. When well mixed pour over the apples in the tart.
Bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the filling is softly set and golden on top. Allow to cool a little before serving.