Sunday, 5 October 2008
Rheinish apple tart
I adore apples and there’s something about the first chills of Autumn that make me want them more than ever. I saw this beautiful tart on PG’s lovely site Kitchen Stories and knew I had to make it. I made a couple of very minor tweaks to the recipe but if you want to see the original check out PG’s site.
This tart is proof that sometimes all you need are a few classic ingredients to create magic! The smell of the apple and cinnamon baking was warm and inviting and it took all my powers of self control not to attack the tart as soon as it came from the oven.
The CCD (Caked Crusader’s Da) said that this was his favourite thing I had ever made and he gave it his top award. When I queried what his top award was he explained that it was “five stars”...alas, there was no cash prize or trophy accompanying it.
The apples are so juicy in their sugar and cinnamon coating. When the tart bakes the juice and sugar makes an almost toffee sauce which adds a wonderful depth to the flavour. Surprisingly, the sauce didn’t make the pastry soggy.
Just look at how juicy the apples are, and how each is coated in cinnamon and sugar:
I always leave pastry overhanging the tin when I bake a tart – what I loved about this pastry was that it naturally trimmed itself while baking i.e. the excess neatly dropped off giving a nice clean edge as well as a tasty treat for me (mmmmm, bonus pastry)! On its own the pastry is quite sweet; it's important to use a tart eating apple to balance this.
I served the tart at room temperature with clotted cream:
For the pastry:
300g plain flour
200g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the filling:
6-7 tart eating apples (I used Granny Smith)
60g caster sugar (I used golden caster sugar)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
How to make:
- Put all the ingredients for the pastry in a food processor and whizz together until a soft ball of dough is formed.
- Roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking paper and use to line a 23cm loose bottomed flan tin. No need to grease this, as the pastry is rich and buttery enough. Leave any excess pastry hanging over the edge of the flan tin (it’s always best to leave trimming the pastry until after you have blind baked it).
- Leave to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.
- Peel, core and slice the apples and put them into a large bowl.
- Cover with the sugar and cinnamon and toss well to ensure that all the apples are covered.
- Take the pastry case from the fridge and scatter some of the sultanas over the base.
- Start to fill the tart with the apples. I went for a concentric circles approach to ensure the tart was well packed.
- Scatter the remaining sultanas evenly over the layers of apple.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and then leave to cool on a wire rack.
- If necessary, trim the pastry – I didn’t need to do this as I found it dropped off while baking!
- Serve either warm with custard or ice cream, or at room temperature with clotted cream.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.