We were off to a birthday party in the sparkling autumn sunshine and I decided there needed to be an apple tart. Sunday mornings are always our chance to over indulge, usually by way of syrup soaked blueberry pancakes, freshly baked muffins or French toast and maple bacon. But this Sunday we decided to opt for a decadent afternoon tea instead.
After we enjoyed a breakfast of fresh berries, yoghurt and an espresso on our sun drenched balcony surrounded by the weekend papers I retrieved the puff pastry from the deep freeze and got to work on the tart. Not that I can really call it work, the tart is wonderfully simple. In fact the hardest part of this tart is allowing the time for the butter to come to room temperature. So much so I usually pop the butter in a little direct sunshine to help the process along or if I'm feeling really impatient I’ll pop it in the microwave.
The tart begins with the frangipane by creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then a good drizzle of vanilla bean paste is added. I adore seeing the vanilla seeds flecked through the buttery sweet mixture. To finish I stirred through a couple of egg yolks and the almond meal.
The vanilla spiked frangipane mixture is spread over the base of the tart in between the borders I created by adhering the sliced edges of a second piece of puff. I really do love cooking with puff pastry, not only because its unbelievably delicious with its buttery light layers of crispy pastry but because it’s a ready to use product that takes no time to defrost and use...making it a wonderful life saver for simple suppers or easy sweet tarts.
Apples this time of year are perfect. Crisp, tart and wonderfully juicy I couldn't help but adorn the top of the almond frangipane with a thinly sliced Granny Smith. With the slices of apple nestled snuggly a top the tart off it went to a hot oven for a good thirty minutes until it emerged golden, puffed and smelling of comforting vanilla and baked caramelised apples.
Off to the park we went with the baby and apple tart perched in the pram. Under the bright blue clear sky and sparkling autumn sunshine we enjoyed slices of apple tart.
Rustic apple tart
Adapted from bill granger
75 g unsalted butter softened
90 g caster sugar
80 g ground almonds
2 egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 sheets puff pastry
1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons marmalade
Preheat oven to 220°C.
To make the frangipane, mix the butter and sugar and vanilla until creamy, light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and almond meal stir to combine.
Lay the puff pastry on a lined baking tray and placed the trimmed (2cms wide) edges of puff pastry (cut from the second piece of pastry) along the border, adhere with a little egg if required.
Spread the frangipane mixture over the base of the tart and press the apple slices into the frangipane. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the sides are golden and puffed. Heat the marmalade in the microwave for a minute or until spreadable and brush over baked tart. Enjoy x