French apple tart

This classic tart is time-consuming to make but well worth the effort for a special occasion.

What you need:

  • 50 gram butter
  • 900 gram cooking apples ( quartered, cored, cut into chunks and no need to peel them)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 50 gram caster sugar
  • grated zest of ½ lemon

For the pastry:

  • 175 gram plain flour
  • 15 gram icing sugar
  • 75 gram butter (diced)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • about 1 tablespoon water

For the topping:

  • 225 gram eating apples
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • about 1 tablespoon caster sugar

For the glaze:

  • 4 tablespoons apricot jam

Tin needed: A loose-bottomed 23cm fluted flan tin

1: First make the pastry. Put the flour and icing sugar in a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2: Add the egg yolk and water and mix until it comes together to form a firm dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

3: While the pastry is resting, pre-heat the oven to 200ºC and make the filling. Melt the butter in a large pan and then add the apples and water. Cover and cook very gently for about 10-15 minutes, until the apples have become soft and mushy.

4: Rub the apples through a nylon sieve into a clean pan and add the apricot jam, sugar and grated lemon zest. Cook over a high heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly, untill all the excess liquid has evaporated and the apple purée is thick. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

5: Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and use to line the flan tin. Prick the pastry all over with a fork, line with non-stick baking parchment or foil, fill with baking beans and bake blind for about 15 minutes. Remove the baking beans and paper and return the pastry case to the oven for 5 minutes or until it’s pale golden and dried out. Remove from the oven but leave the oven turned on.

6: Spoon the cooled apple purée into the flan case and level the surface. Peel, quarter and core the eating apples, then slice them very thinly. Arrange in neat overlapping circles over the apple purée, brush with lemon juice and sprinkle with the caster sugar. Return the flan to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until the pastry and the edges of the apples are lightly browned. Allow to cool a little.

7: For the glaze, sieve the apricot jam into a small pan and heat gently until runny. Brush it over the top of the apples and the pastry. Serve warm or cold.

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