Sunday, 7 March 2010

Apple tart ‘Maman Blanc’

Raymond Blanc’s current tv show Kitchen Secrets has contained so many delicious recipes but this one stood out for me and Mr CC. Mr CC is not the most demanding of people so when he watched this tart being made and turned to me saying “make it happen” in that wry, tongue in cheek way of his, I knew he must really want to try it!

The recipe is actually one of Ma Blanc’s, hence the title. I’d never used Cox’s apples before but definitely will be from now on – they had a beautiful flavour and turned a lovely soft texture on cooking but retained some bite.

The pastry was a revelation; it contains no sugar but is joyously buttery and flaky. The bonus was how easy it was to work with – I’ve never had such a beautiful, clean looking pastry case. Also, you don’t have to blind bake the pastry case yet the base is crisp and perfect!

The only change I made to the recipe was to double to amount of custard. I’m glad I did because the original amount would’ve been a bit skimpy.

While this tart looks like a lot of work and, admittedly, there are a few stages to it, it’s not difficult nor did it take that long to make. I made the pastry the night before and left it refrigerated– rolled out and ready to fill– in the tin just covering it with clingfilm and it was perfect. This saved me a lot of time on the day.

Here are the beautiful apples glazed and ready for the oven:

To manage the expectations of any work colleagues hoping for a slice tomorrow morning:


For the pastry:

250g plain flour
125g unsalted butter, diced
1 teaspoon milk or water (I used milk)
1 egg

For the apple filling:

15g unsalted butter
½ tablespoon lemon juice
15g caster sugar
½ tablespoon Calvados, or any apple brandy or liqueur
4-5 Cox’s apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices – aim for 8-12 slices per apple

For the custard (this is the amount I used which was double Raymond Blanc’s amount):

200ml double cream
2 eggs
100g caster sugar


- Start by making the pastry: pulse the flour and butter in a food processor until you have crumbs.

- Add the egg and milk and pulse again until the pastry clumps but does not form a ball – be careful not to overwork it.

- Tip the dough onto a sheet of clingfilm and kneed it just enough to form a ball. Flatten, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

- Preheat the oven to 220˚c/fan oven 200˚c/440˚F /gas mark 7.

- Roll out the chilled dough between two sheets of clingfilm. I didn’t need to add any extra flour. Use one sheet of the clingfilm to lift the pastry to line a 20cm loose bottomed flan tin. Press the pastry into the tin and use the rolling pin to roll over the top and cut of any excess pastry.

- Refrigerate until ready to complete. You can make the tart up to this point the day before. Just make sure you wrap the tin in clingfilm so the pastry doesn’t dry out.

- Now make the filling: start by placing the butter, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan and heating until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved.

- Remove from the heat and stir in the calvados. Leave to one side.

- Prepare the apples and then line them in the pastry case in concentric circles, overlapping each piece so the tart is packed with apple. Have a spare apple on standby should you need it – apples vary in size and it’s always worth having extra if needed!

- Bruch the cooled syrup over the top of the apples and place the tart in the oven for 10 minutes.

- After this time, and leaving the tart in the oven reduce the temperature to 200˚c/fan oven 180˚c/400˚F /gas mark 6 and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the apples have browned a little on the edges.

- Whisk together the double cream, eggs and sugar until thick and well combined.

- Pour over the apple tart and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the custard has set.

- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for an hour. The custard will puff up in the oven and settle as it cools.

- Serve with clotted cream or ice cream.

- Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.

- Eat


glamah16 said...

Well you made it happen all right.

C said...

Oh, that looks so good. I will have to try and watch the relevant episode on iPlayer soon.....

love the look of the pastry, yum!

Suelle said...

Amazing how our experiences with the custard differed! I couldn't get all of the original amount into the 9" flan tin I used - I guess mine was much more shallow! I've just posted my experience with the recipe on my blog!

Margaret said...

CC I made this tart too!
On Friday evening I made the pastry and popped it in the fridge and on Saturday morning made the tart!
We thought the pastry was a revelation and cooked perfectly, even though it hadn't been baked blind. Your tart is a credit to Maman Blanc.

GeNiaL said...

Wow, the tart really turned out so nice and smooth! And that is amazing that you don't need to bake it before hand. I am so going to try this recipe. I tried making the tart base once but it shrunk and puffed up. Thanks for the tip Sam :)

Katie said...

I snagged this recipes off the internet after watching his programme too. Haven't got round to making it yet, but longing to now - it looks gorgeous! Thanks for the tip about doubling the custard - mmm looks so divine!

Jeannette said...

What a coincidence! My boyfriend saw this being made on TV last week and we made it yesterday. We thought the original ratio of custard to apple was fine.... I agree with you that this pastry is a dream & I hate having to blind bake so it was great not to have to.

Amazingly, we have some leftover and I am in the happy position of discovering whether or not it is even better the next day!

Victoria said...

i drooled over this on the tv the other week...mmm apples...and how cute is raymond blanc??

Choclette said...

I've just been looking at Suelle's post on this - both tarts look very very tasty.

Cakelaw said...

Apple pie - with custard filling??? YUM!!!

Beth said...

Wow that looks amazing - v proessional

Ling's Passion said...

This is tart looks immaculate. Well done.

pigpigscorner said...

oh my..this is calling for me!

Mark @ Cafe Campana said...

This tart looks really good. The baked custard looks smooth and delicious.

Sam said...

I started using Cox apples a little while back, they really do cook nicely and have loads of flavour too.

The tart looks really good, you can never have too much custard!

Anonymous said...

hi, what is the size of your tart tin?

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi ANonymous

SOrry for the omission - it's a 23cm flan tin

Happy baking