Thursday, 31 July 2008

French Apple Tart

I actually made this last week but I've been a bad blogger recently. I haven't been cooking anything very exciting either, mostly because it has been so hot that I really don't want to be standing over a hot stove for any length of time. The apple crisp I posted about a couple of weeks ago is Blondini's real favourite apple dessert but in the summer who can face a hot apple pie? This, therefore, is our summer version.

French Apple Tart

4oz hard tomor (or other hard fat)
8 oz plain flour
1 oz caster sugar
1 egg
A little water (I fill half an eggshell with water and this is usually the right amount)

7 cooking apples (rough amount - obviously depends on size)
Caster sugar to taste
Cinnamon to taste
Juice of half a lemon
1 teasp of oil or small amount of butter

3 tablespoons apricot jam
3 tablespoons caster sugar

Combine the pastry ingredients together in a food processor or mix by hand until you have a smooth dough. Roll out and press into the pie dish. Cover with baking paper and baking beads (or weigh it down with something else) and put in the oven at 160 or your normal baking temperature for about 30 minutes, or until it has hardened but it not totally cooked.

While it is cooking, peel all of the apples (rub lemon juice over them to keep them from going brown while you work on other apples. Quarter 3 of the apples and cut them into thin slices - these will be the top of the tart. Put these in a bowl with a little of the lemon juice and sprinkle a little sugar over them. Cut the remaining apples into small chunks.

Heat the butter or oil in a saucepan and add the chunks of apple to it, stirring to prevent the apples burning or sticking to the bottom. Cover the pan and let the apples cook slowly. When they have softened, taste and add lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon as required. Keep stirring and cooking (covered) until you have an apple puree.

Spread the apple puree into the pastry case. Layer the sliced apples on top, starting on the outside, overlapping the pieces so that you have rings of overlapping apple. When completed, put the whole thing back into the oven. Cook for about 30 minutes (but check to ensure that the apples on the top are not burning (some may have darkened edges - this is unavoidable) on 160 or your normal baking temperature.

When the tart is out of the oven, take a bowl andcombine the jam and sugar and heat in the microwave (or in a saucepan) until a thick syrup is formed. I do this in the microwave and it is best to heat it for no more than a minute each time, and keep checking on it, as too long can burn it very quickly. It usually takes around 3 minutes, though obviously this will vary for all microwaves.

Using a spoon or palette knife, spread the glaze thinly over the whole tart. Leave to set and then refridgerate.


Jo and Etan said...

This looks yum! In Israel they don't seem to have baking beads - what can I use instead?? Also they don't have cooking apples so I'll have to use granny smiths. I miss English produce!
I'm going to make it for the in-laws.....

Katie said...

You could make baking beads yourself if you can get some clay? Otherwise... hmm... maybe a couple of glasses? Something heavy that won't break in the oven.
Granny smiths will be great - just use not very much sugar as they are already so sweet.
Hope it turns out well!

Vanessa said...

This looks delicious! My attempt with Apricot jam looked awful! How'd you do it? xx