Tarte aux pommes
- November 2013
- Serves 10-12
- Takes 30 minutes to make, 35 minutes to cook
A classic French apple tart makes a wonderful show-stopper dessert for any dinner party.
- 20.7g (9.1g saturated)
- 34g (20.6g sugars)
- 500g block all-butter puff pastry
- Flour for dusting
- 6-8 cox’s orange pippin apples (see tips), peeled, cored, halved and cut into 2mm slices (about 650g)
- 20g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 5 tbsp apricot jam
- Vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche to serve
For the almond cream
- 60g unsalted butter, softened
- 75g icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 drops of pure almond extract (we like Nielsen-Massey)
- 1 medium free-range egg
- 100g ground almonds
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp dark rum
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. For the almond cream, in a small bowl whisk the 60g butter with the icing sugar, vanilla and almond extract for 2-3 minutes until the butter turns pale, then add the remaining ingredients. Whisk well and set aside.
- Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a 32cm round (to the thickness of a £1 coin), then place on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. Using the back of a small knife, draw a line 1cm in from the edge of the pastry all the way round to give the tart a border.
- Prick inside the marked circle all over with a fork, then spread over the almond cream.
- Starting from the outside, arrange the apple slices over the almond cream, overlapping them tightly so that only about 1cm of the previous slice is visible. Make a complete circle then start another circle, overlapping the previous one. Repeat this operation until the tart is complete.
- In a small frying pan, melt the 20g butter with the rosemary until foaming, then add the sugar. Stir, then remove from the heat and brush the mixture over the apples. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are well coloured around the edges. With a spatula, lift the tart carefully and check the bottom is cooked and crisp.
- Heat the jam very gently in a small saucepan with a tiny splash of water. Sieve it (if you want a very smooth glaze), then brush over the tart. Serve with vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche or simply as it is.
The best apple variety for this tart is cox’s orange pippin.
Keep all the puff pastry trimmings. Do not mash them into a ball but place them on top of each other to preserve the layers in the pastry. Roll them out to about 3-4mm thick and, as you are nearing this thickness, add lots of brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut into fingers and bake at 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6 for about 8 minutes until crisp. They make a great afternoon tea biscuit.
If you’re allergic to dairy or prefer a lighter dessert, spread a layer of sharp apple compote under the sliced apples instead of making the almond cream.
Keep the apples in a bowl of cold water with the juice of half a lemon added to it as you slice them to prevent them turning brown, then dry with a clean tea towel before laying on the almond cream.
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