Serves 6-8 Sometimes called Normandy Apple Tart, best served warm with some nicely chilled pouring cream.
You will need
Good quality, shortcrust frozen pastry
Apple Filling 4 Cox's Pippin’s Apples
Almond Cream Filling 115g unsalted butter, at room temperature 85g caster sugar 85g ground almonds 2 tsp plain flour 1 tsp cornflour 1 large egg 1 tsp vanilla extract
Glaze ½ jar of apricot preserve + 1tbsp water
1. Grease a 9” fluted or non fluted tart tin. Roll out pastry to thickness of a €1 coin. Transfer to tin and press the pastry into sides with a small ball of dough. Leave about a 1 inch overhang of pastry and cut the rest away with a scissors. Line pastry with non-stick parchment paper so that it projects beyond the pastry. Fill to near top with rice or beans ensuring that the sides are supported by the dry material. Let stand for 20 minutes in fridge. This recovery period will reduce pastry shrinkage during baking.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C for 15 minutes. Have an egg white that is lightly beaten ready to seal pastry before 2nd bake. Transfer to preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes.
3. Remove from oven and using the parchment to help you, lift the dry contents away from the pastry shell. Prick the base all over with a fork to reduce puffing up. Brush the pastry shell with the egg white.
4. Return to oven and bake for 8 – 10 minutes. You are partially baking the shell which will complete its baking with the almond cream and apples. Remove from oven and let cool on rack.
5. Peel and quarter the apples and remove core with seeds. Slice the quarters thinly.
6. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl, and using a hand-held whisk, of a food process until the mixture is smooth, light and satiny.
7. Add the ground almonds and continue to process until well blended.
8. Add the flour and cornflour, whisk again, and then add the egg. Whisk for about 15 seconds more, or until the almond cream is homogeneous.
9. Add the rum or vanilla and whiskey just to blend.
10. Spread mixture over pastry case base and smooth with a small spatula.
11. Starting with the outside circle, place overlapping slices of apple all the way round the shell covering the almond cream beneath. Do the same with the second inner circle. The final inner circle can be completed in this way. Or alternatively, stand each apple slice at a 35 degree angle to form a ‘flower-type’ pattern in the middle.
12. Sprinkle the slices with 85g caster sugar. Bake in preheated as before for 20-25 minutes till apples are soft.
13. Make the apricot glaze by gently heating the apricot preserve and water until dissolved and then push through sieve to remove fruit pieces. Remove from oven and brush apples slices with the warm glaze. Allow to cool and set with apricot glaze.