Sunday, April 28, 2013

French Apple Tart

This is probably one of my favourite cakes, it's simple but it never fails to amaze with it's sweet and comforting taste of apples and vanilla.
I learned how to make it in a cooking class with the amazing Diane Holuigue in Melbourne.

The pastry:
100g butter, softened
200g plain flour
1 egg yolk
2,3, or 4 tablespoons sugar, the more sugar you add the crunchier the pastry will become, but it also gets harder to roll out.
Approx. 3 tablespoons water (less or non if you make the pastry in a food processor)

The filling:
2-3 apples (e.g Granny Smith)
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
300ml cream at 35% milk fat
a solid dash of vanilla extract

Food processor method: (Never the electric mixer, which toughens terribly). Process the dry ingredients in the bowl first, then add the egg yolk and butter. On a hot day, with soft butter, you may succeed without water, but a little water makes it easier to roll. Add the water (less than in the usual recipe) slowly down the funnel until the pastry balls above the blades of the processor. Processor pastry needs longer resting in the fridge to roll successfully. It is possible to increase the butter content up to 120g.

When ready to bake, roll out and line a tart mold with the rolled pastry, poke a few times with a fork. No need to blind bake though.

The Filling:
Cut the apples into thick segments (each apple in about 8 pieces). Lay these in the base of the tart mold. In a bowl mix together the egg yolks and sugar, then the flour, then whisk in the cream and pour over the apples. Bake the tart in a 180°C oven until set and golden coloured (about 25-30 minutes), then remove and cool on a cake rack.

Serve at room temperature, sprinkled with icing sugar at the last moment.

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