Thursday, 17 November 2011

Mary Berry's French Apple Tart

Along with my mums guidance I was taught to bake by Mary Berry. More precisely by her Ultimate Cake Book, which is by far and away my most loved and used recipe book. From a very young age I'd try her recipes and this is an old favourite. It's time consuming and a little messy, but the end result is well worth it. This time I decided to use almond pastry instead and replaced just under half of the flour with ground almonds. Either pastry works well so just pick your favourite.

I've recently picked a lot of windfall apples from my parents garden so this is a perfect use for them. The recipe also works well as individual tarts for a gift.

Here is the flan before it goes into the oven.

And when it came out

French Apple Tart Recipe from Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book

Serves 8-10

90g butter
1.5kg cooking apples, quartered, cored, and cut into chunks
3 tbsp water
6 tbsp apricot jam
125g caster sugar
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
375g eating apples, quartered, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp caster sugar
6 tbsp apricot jam

For the pastry

250g plain flour
125g chilled butter, cubed
125g caster sugar
4 egg yolks

For the apple topping and glaze

250g plain flour
125g chilled butter, cubed
125g caster sugar
4 egg yolks


Make the pastry: put the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, then the egg yolks and a little cold water to make a soft dough. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line the flan tin. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, and add the cooking apples and water. Cover and cook very gently for 20–25 minutes until the apples are soft.

Rub the apples through a nylon sieve into a clean pan. Add the jam, sugar, and lemon zest. Cook over a high heat for 15–20 minutes, stirring constantly, until all the liquid has evaporated and the apple purée is thick. Leave to cool.

Bake the pastry case blind in a preheated oven at 190°C/gas mark 5 for 10–15 minutes. Remove the beans and foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Leave to cool.

Spoon the purée into the case. Arrange the apple slices on top, brush with lemon juice, and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake for another 30–35 minutes until the apples are tender and their edges browned.

Heat the jam, work through a sieve, then brush over the apples. Serve warm or cold.


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