I first saw these glorious pink apples on Instagram a couple of years ago and thought that this type of apples could only be found at farmer’s markets. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw them last week at the Co-op, my local Co-op! I couldn’t be sure that they would be pink inside, but I’m always up for trying different varieties of apple in apple season. So, I bought 2 packs of these Kissabel apples.
The apples are crisp and a little sweet. I decided an apple tart would be the best way to show case them. I finally plumped for Felicity Cloake’s the perfect French apple tart recipe. The addition of the apple puree to the frangipane stops the tart from being overly sweet and still maintains its sublime apple flavour. I did adapt the recipe slightly, using Eric Lanlard’s sweet pastry recipe and adding the gold leaf. I also removed the alcohol and for the apple puree ,I used Bramley apples for their tartness.
For the pastry
300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
4tbsp golden caster sugar
200g unsalted butter, chopped into pieces
2 egg yolks
2tbsp cold water
2tsp vanilla paste or extract
For the frangipane
60g soft butter
60g icing sugar, sifted
2 drops almond essence
1 egg, beaten
115g ground almonds
1 tsp cornflour
For the filling
1kg apples (I used 400g Bramley apples and 600g Kissabels)
1 vanilla pod
3 tbsp smooth apricot jam or quince jelly, to glaze
gold leafto decorate (only if you want to)
To make the pastry
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix together with your fingertips to make a smooth dough.
Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Cover with cling film. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastryinto a 23cm tart tin and prick the base with a fork. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Place a large piece of non-stick baking paper over the base and sides of the pastry. Fill the base with baking beans.
Bake in a preheated oven, 180C (fan 160C)/350F/gas mark 4, for 10-15 minutes or until the case is just set, then remove the paper and beans and cook empty for a further 10 minutes or until the base is dry and crisp and the top edges of the tart are golden,
To make the puree
Meanwhile, core and peel 400g of the apples and cut into chunks. Put in a pan with the butter, 75ml water and the vanilla pod, if using, and cook over a low heat until very soft, adding more water if necessary. Puree with a stick blender or mash well, and leave to cool.
To make the frangipane
Beat together the butter, icing sugar and almond essence until fluffy, then whisk in the egg. Fold in the remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt, and mix until well combined.
Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas 6. Spread the pastry base with the apple puree and top with the frangipane mixture. Finally, top with the apple slices in two concentric overlapping circles, then bake for about 30 minutes,or until golden brown.
Heat the jam over a low heat until runny, then carefully brush the apples until glossy. Decorate with the gold leaf, if using.