I used the leftover pastry from the Bakewell tart, and some apples our neighbours had given us, from their tree which overhangs our back garden and this is what I came up with.
1 x 375g block of puff pastry – I sense some of you are rolling your eyes. It is cheat’s apple tart, and even John Whaite, winner of the Great British Bakeoff has been known to use bought puff pastry, I’m going to allow it here. I normally make pastry, but puff, I’m leaving it to the experts...
1 egg, beaten
600g of cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/3 cm thick wedges (as thin as you can cut them really)
225g soft muscavado sugar – basically any soft brown sugar will do. Make sure you sieve it into the recipe or you get big chunks
3 good pinches of ground cinnamon
75ml calvados (more if you want, you can go for it, but don’t go OTT)
- Preheat the oven to 180C fan, 200C non fan, and put the baking tray which will fit the tart onto it, in the oven. It’s important the baking tray gets really hot, or you’ll have a soggy bottom on your tart, and no one wants that.
- Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Place onto grease proof paper then cut it into a 35cm diameter circle. Push the edge over by 1cm, then crimp it, like the edging for a Cornish pasty. Brush the beaten egg over it. Place in the fridge for 15mins. Make yourself a nice cup of tea, you deserve it at this point. You can squash up the left over pastry and make another, smaller tart if you have any fruit still left. I thought it seemed a waste to throw it away.
- Mix the apple slices in a bowl with the sieved sugar, cinnamon and calvados until it’s all well coated.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge, and prick it all over with a fork. Lay the apple slices onto the pastry. Imagine you’re laying tiles on a roof, so each slice is partly over lapped with the previous one, like in my picture. You can arrange in rows, in a circular pattern, whatever takes your fancy. Just make sure they’re no more than one thick or the apples won’t cook in time.
- Once they’re all laid onto the pastry, pour some of the left over sugary calvadosy, cinnamon juices over the apples. Use your judgement, don’t soak them, or you’ll end up with a soggy bottom, and the pastry won’t cook, but you want enough to ensure the apples are coated. This sauce caramelises in the oven and gives the apples a nice brown tinge.
- Put the tart, still on the grease proof paper, onto the hot baking tray, and leave in the oven for 15-20 mins, or until the pastry is golden, and the apples are soft.
- Leave to cool for 10 mins, dust with icing sugar (this is the cook’s friend, as it can, as Mum always says, ‘cover a multitude of sins’).
- Serve with cream, ice cream, or on its own.
Until next time