How is it December already? I baked this tart around this time last year, and despite the fact that 2019 has flown by, it feels like that was years ago. This time of year has always been a mixed bag for me, where I find myself reflecting on the last 12 months and taking stock of where I was at the beginning and where I’m at towards the end. I’ve always felt like it’s important to reflect back on these kinds of things, as it allows you to put things into perspective and makes you appreciate what you’ve managed to achieve in +/- 365 days.
Something I didn’t manage to achieve, although I’m doing it now, is posting this recipe for this French Apple Tart. I made it using Kissabel Apples, which I found at Waitrose while still living in the UK. These apples were not only delicious but also had the most beautiful shade of pink flesh, which made them an absolute treat to bake, photograph and eat! It’s unique ingredients like these which always make me even more excited about food and which inspire me to get into the kitchen and experiment with them.
Now even though I managed to save these photos on my Google Drive, I can’t really remember the exact recipe I used. Nevertheless, after doing some searching online I’ve come to the conclusion that an apple tart recipe that requires a homemade pastry, frangipane, sliced apples and a glaze of apricot jam is pretty standard. As there’s a really good chance I saw the recipe in the Waitrose magazine, I’m going to go with that one (although they call it Apple Frangipane Tart). I also find that making pastry in a food-processor is way easier than doing it by hand, so I’ve adapted it for that.
French Apple Tart
- 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 200g butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing & brushing apples)
- Pinch of salt
- 100g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp
- 2 large eggs
- 100g ground almonds
- 1 tbsp finely chopped lemon zest
- 4 apples (any eating apples of your choice)
- 1 tbsp smooth apricot jam
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Place the flour in the bowl of a food processor and add 100g of the butter which as been diced. Add the salt and pulse until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs. Add 1-3 tablespoons of cold water and pulse again until the dough forms a ball that sticks to the sides of the bowl.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and gently knead on a lightly floured surface for around a minute. Form a disk, cover and chill for 30 mins.
- Grease a 24cm-diameter tart tin with a removable base with butter, and then dust with flour to ensure it’s completely non-stick. Roll out the pastry and gently line the tin evenly with the pastry dough, trimming the edges. You’re going to then need to blind bake the pastry case for about 15 minutes - so line with baking paper and fill half with ceramic baking beads or dried beans.
- Bake for 10 minutes, remove the baking paper and baking beads/beans and bake for a further 5 minutes. Allow the tart cool for a few minutes when it’s done.
- While the pastry is blind-baking, make the frangipane by beating together the remaining 100g butter and 100g sugar until light and fluffy (this can be done using a hand mixer). Beat in one egg at a time and then fold in the almonds and lemon zest. Set aside.
- Halve and peel the apples, carefully cutting out the cores. Place flat side down and slice thinly across the width.
- Once the pastry case has cooled down, spoon in the frangipane mixture and place the sliced apple halves in the tart and fan out slightly (have a look at my photos to get an idea of what it should look like).
- Melt a knob of butter and paint the apple halves, sprinkle with the extra caster sugar.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the frangipane is puffy and golden and the apples are just cooked.
- Glaze the apples with the apricot jam, and leave in the warm, switched-off oven, with the door ajar, for 15 minutes.
- Serve warm or cold with ice cream or crème fraîche.