Sunday, 25 November 2012

Bramley apple tart

Bramley apples are truly beautiful.  When I picture an orchard, I picture Bramley apples with their dark green skins and red blush, their knobbly shapes and impressive size.  They are the kings of apples!

Usually, a recipe featuring Bramleys will only use them in puree form.  What attracted me to this recipe was the sliced Bramley on top – it gives the best of both worlds.  I was also impressed by the tip of beating an egg into the apple puree; it meant the tart sliced easily and didn’t collapse in the way that many apple pies do.

There are a few stages to this tart but it is worth it as the result looks very impressive...and more importantly, tastes divine.  The cinnamon pastry worked particularly well; you can’t go wrong pairing apple with cinnamon!

I think we all do things and then suddenly realise that we wouldn’t have done them in our youth.  Freezing the four leftover slices of tart, I suddenly felt very grown up!  Younger-me would’ve just eaten them regardless of whether I even wanted them – but mature-me, will appreciate having dessert on standby in the freezer!

Four of these, waiting for me in the freezer...whenever I want them.  Oh the joy!

Finally, thank you to everyone who has sponsored Mr CC’s ‘tache growing for Movember – we are touched and heartened by the response.  There is still time to make a donation and be entered into the prize draw (details can be found here).  You can still sponsor Mr CC by visiting his Mo page.


For the apple puree:
4 medium Bramley apples, peeled and cored
150g Demerara sugar
2 lemons – juice only
1 egg

For the pastry:
200g plain flour
80g unsalted butter, cold
40g caster sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 egg yolk
1-2 tablespoons cold water – I needed 2

For the apple topping:
2 medium Bramley apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
25g unsalted butter – melted

For the glaze:
8 tablespoons apricot jam
4 tablespoons water

To serve: thick cream


Start by making the apple puree as it needs time to cool.  Chop the apples into small chunks and place in a pan along with the sugar and lemon juice.  It looks a lot of sugar which is why the lemon is there to balance it out.

Bring to the boil and then lower the heat.  Putting a lid on the pan will make the apple break down quicker.

Stir occasionally until you have a chunky puree.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

When cool, stir in the beaten egg – this helps the puree thicken in the oven and ensures nice clean slices when you serve it.

Now make the pastry: Place the flour, butter, sugar and cinnamon into the food processor and blitz until you have fine crumbs.  Alternatively, use the rubbing in method i.e.  rubbing the butter and flour through your fingertips until the ingredients incorporate into crumbs.

Add the egg yolk and blitz again.

Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, and pulse the processor until the mixture forms wet clumps.

Tip out onto a sheet of clingfilm and – handling as little as possible – form into a ball.

Flatten into a disc, wrap in the clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  (I made it the night before and left it in the fridge – it’s fine!)

Roll out the pastry between two sheets of clingfilm.  At first it will seem too crumbly but persevere and, as the pastry warms, it will behave.  You will need to roll it thin to line the tin.

Take a 23cm loose bottomed flan tin and line it with the pastry.  Patch as needed.

Prick the bottom several times with a fork and return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/390°F/gas mark 6.

Line the pastry with baking paper or non stick foil, and weigh down with baking beans.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes.

Remove the beans and foil and return the exposed pastry case to the oven for a further 5 minutes, or until it is a light golden brown.

Leave to cool.

Spoon the puree into the pastry case and level the surface.

Arrange the sliced apples on top and then brush with the melted butter.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the sliced apples have an appealing caramelised brown glow to them.

As soon as you remove the tart from the oven, make the glaze: boil the jam with the water.

Brush over the baked tart and leave to cool completely.

Serve in thick slices with lashings of cream.  It would also be nice served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Susie @ Fold in the Flour said...

This looks incredible and the tip about using an egg in the filling is really clever. Apple things are one of my husband's favourites but he really doesn't like cinnamon. I could easily leave it out of this to suit his tastes! :)

Debs Dust Bunny said...

This tart looks lovely! Being American, I make a lot of apple pie, always with lots of cinnamon. I've never added cinnamon to the crust. I must give this a try! : )

Cakeyboi said...

This looks so painstakingly precise and decadent too! I love the idea of cinnamon in the pastry - must give that a try sometime:)

Ulla said...

Looks beautiful. I must try that cinnamon pastry, I like to use it lot with apples. We don´t get Bramleys here in Finland, but I can use Antonovka (old Russian variety, have been grown in Finland over 100 yrs). It´s one of winter apples, good for cooking.

Mrs Mulford said...

Love Bramleys too. I enjoy eating them 'raw' but my face doesn't look like it ! However, I would be more than happy to have a slice of this anytime !

Recipe Junkie said...

my but that looks beautiful. It's a long time since I made an apple tart - I'm bookmarking this.

Lauren Roffey said...

That looks awesome :) I agree with you, the apple slices on top are great and as per the above comments, the addition of cinnamon to pastry is something I must try!

Kezia said...

That looks like in should be in the window of a patisserie! Cinnamon and apple is an unbeatable combination.

thelittleloaf said...

Your tart looks picture perfect! I've just made a recipe with a cinnamon crust too - so yummy.

Gloria said...

This tarta is perfect and delicious I love how you put the apples look beauty!

Annes S said...

It looks beautiful, love the apple slices on top, makes a real centrepiece pud!

Something has triggered in my head about using egg, must of done something similar a very long time back, remember it giving stability as you say. will probably come to me about 3am tonight lol!

Maggie said...

Well executed, looks fab, and makes me want the lot really:)

Laura Loves Cakes said...

What a splendid autumnal tart...I completely agree that apple and cinnamon are a match made in heaven...and your tart looks perfect! Love the tip about beating the egg into the apple puree too :-)

Cakelaw said...

What a gorgeous tart!

Jo said...

What a beauty! Pairing it with cinnamon pastry sounds absolutely delicious.

Caroline said...

Oooh, that looks utterly delicious - I do love a good apple tart. I like the idea of cinnamon pastry too - the advantages of making your own I guess.

ACV said...

Hello! I followed your recipe and made instead of one big tart, several smaller tarts and they are delicious!!! My family LOVES them! A friend went apple picking and gave me a bunch of apples. I searched onine for a recipe and found yours. Your directions were perfect. I am not an experienced baker by any means, but this tastes (and looks) like something from my local Le Pain Quotidien, no lie! I've surprised myself and I'm actually very proud. I thought most accountants (I am one also) were not great in the kitchen, but you've changed my mind! I have the pictures to prove if anyone wants to see!

The Caked Crusader said...


Glad it came out so well - I tried to click on your name to get to your blog and see your pics but the link won't work.

Happy baking