Kissabel Apple Tart

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. 

Ingredients

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)
25g butter
1 vanilla pod
3 tbsp smooth apricot jam or quince jelly, to glaze

gold leafto decorate (only if you want to)

Method

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.

Assembly

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.

Leek & Caerphilly Crumble Tart

Leek crumble tart

I first made this tart when we were visiting my parents in France. We were renting an apartment and I decided to cook. Unfortunately, I managed to break the oven, (I was mortified and not even my dad could fix it), but luckily for us the tart was just about cooked and was delicious. It’s perfect for this time of year when we still have sunny days and the light is that beautiful autumnal gold.  

Leek Crumble tart (2)

Ingredients

400g all-butter shortcrust pastry. (I used Eric Lanlard’s recipe)

250g plain flour

1 tsp fine salt

150g unsalted butter

1 egg beaten

1 tbsp milk

For the filling

50g butter

500g leeks (about 2), trimmed and sliced

3 eggs

75ml single cream

75ml milk

1 tsp Dijon mustard

50g Caerphilly cheese, crumbled

For the topping

50g Caerphilly cheese, crumbled

85g fresh white breadcrumbs

50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped

2 tbsp chopped parsley

Mini Leek Crumble Tart

Directions

To make the pastry

* Sift flour and salt into a large bowl

* Rub in the butter with your finger tips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs

* Make a well in the centre and add the egg and milk

* Use fingertips to mix and ingredients to make a dough

* Turn pastry out onto a floured surface and knead two to three times

* Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

Blind Baking

* Preheat oven to 180°c (fan 160°c)/ gas 4

* Roll pastry out and transfer onto a buttered 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin.

* Prick the pastry and chill for a further 15 minutes

* Place a large piece of grease proof paper over the case and fill it with baking beads (or in my case dried split peas).

* Cook for 10-15 minutes.

* Remove the paper and beans and cook for a further 10 minutes until the pastry is dry and crisp and the top edges of the tart are golden.

To make the filling

* Meanwhile, make the filling. Melt the butter in a large pan and, when foaming, add the leeks, cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes until soft. Leave to cool.

* Beat together the eggs, cream, milk, mustard, Caerphilly and some seasoning.

* Evenly cover the base of the pastry case with the leeks, then pour in the egg mixture. Bake for 25 minutes.

To make the topping

Combine all the ingredients. Remove the tart from the oven and sprinkle the topping evenly over. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes until golden brown.

Classic Apple Tart

Apples then tart

I made this apple tart as soon as I got home after buying the cooking magazine, ‘Olive’, October, 2015. Since apples are in their prime and I happened to have a bowl of homegrown ones, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to use them. The recipe itself couldn’t be easier to follow. I was really pleased about how this came out, but if I were to make it again, I would sprinkle the apples with cinnamon and add some sultanas, artistically, of course.

Ingredients

300g puff pastry (I used a ready rolled pack)

Plain flour for dusting

50g ground almonds

50g butter at room temperature

50g caster sugar

3-4 apples

1 lemon

1 egg beaten

4 tablespoons apricot jam

Splash of water

Baking rack and apple tart

Directions

  • Heat the oven to 190°C/ fan 170°C/ gas 5.
  • Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a 20p piece and use a plate approx 25cm in diameter to cut around with a knife. Transfer the pastry to a baking sheet.
  • Gently mark a border approx 1cm from the edge. Don’t cut all the way through the pastry.
  • Mix the butter, ground almonds and the sugar to make the frangipane. Spread a thin layer over the pastry within the border using a palette knife.
  • Peel and core the apples, then slice them thinly. Toss in lemon juice to stop them browning.
  • Arrange the apples over the frangipane.
  • Brush the border with the beaten egg. Gently knock up the edges of the pastry with a sharp knife by loosening the pastry layers so they rise more.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden.
  • Heat the apricot jam and water in a small pan until runny then sieve. Brush over the apples while still warm.

That's a big slice!