For the 52nd and final recipe of the year 2014 I needed to choose a desert to serve at my good friend’s New Year’s Eve dinner. I wanted a dish that I could make the day before and that I could transport in a car without it falling all over the place or ending up in a creamy mess if I slammed on the brakes or dropped it. I chose to return to one of the most traditional and simple French recipes being a Tarte aux Pommes. This delicious desert takes a bit of time to prepare as you have to peel a lot of apples but it is not difficult to make. I decided not to take any shortcuts and even made my own pastry. The concentric rings of apple slices create a lovely pattern and this looks very attractive on the desert table. I add a tablespoon of Calvados (apple brandy) into the apple puree as this gives an extra depth to the flavour. I recommend serving a glass of chilled Calvados to accompany this tasty pastry.
Pastry (or use ready made pastry)
- 225g Flour
- 1 egg
- 100g butter unsalted
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1.4 kgs apples
- 40g butter
- 115g sugar
- 150 ml white wine
- ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1 tablespoon Calvados from the French Market shop
- 1 Jar apricot jam
Directions to make pastry
- Leave butter out of fridge to soften.
- Break egg into a cup and mix egg with a fork.
- Sift flour into mixing bowl.
- Add cold water, egg, softened butter to flour and mix together to form a dough ball.
- Place in fridge for a couple of hours to rest
Directions to make tart
- Peel half the apples, quarter and remove cores.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan and add the apple quarters, half the sugar, wine, lemon rind.
- Simmer without a lid until soft about 1 hour. The apples should all be transluscent.
- Allow to cool and add 1 tablespoon Calvados
- Blend into a smooth puree.
- Grease a tart baking pan. I prefer using one with a removable base as its easier to take out the tart after cooking.
- Roll out the pastry into a round to fit the tart dish.
- Prick the base of the pastry with a fork.
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- Peel core and slice the rest of the apples thinly in half rings.
- Fill the tart base to 2/3rds with the cooled apple puree.
- Arrange the apple slices in concentric rings across the top of the puree, overlapping slightly. Reversing the direction with each ring.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Check apples don’t burn, if the edges get a bit brown, cover top of tart with some greaseproof paper.
- Remove tart from the oven when cooked.
- Carefully heat some apricot jam in the micro wave.
- Use a pastry brush to paint melted jam across the top of the hot tart and the pastry edges.
- Allow tart to cool or serve hot.
I recommend pairing this tart with a glass of chilled Calvados.
Bon Appétit et Bonne Année!