Jerome’s parents travelled from France to Western Australia earlier this year and stayed with us for three weeks. This was their second visit to Australia since Jerome moved here and the first since Jerome and I met. They had heard a lot about how much I like cooking, so I wanted to have a nice meal and dessert ready for their first night at our house. However I was also performing in a play that night, so I wasn’t going to be home until late.

I decided on cooking a casserole that could easily be reheated (creamy chicken, leak and mushrooms…I’ll cook it when the weather is cooler and then post) and then set about finding a dessert to cook. Flicking through one of my cooking magazines, I came across a recipe for a French Apple Tart that seemed perfect. When I came home that night most of it had been eaten, so I’d say it was a success. I cooked this again for a friend last weekend and was just as happy with the results the second time. The sweet and tart apples provide a nice contrast to the rich, creamy pastry cream. Yum. This is also a great dessert to make ahead when you are entertaining.

The original recipe said it served 8, however they would have to be quite small slices. I would suggest 6 serves is more generous.

Apple Tart

Apple Tart

Serves 6 – 8

You need a 2.5cm deep, 11.5cm by 34cm (base) rectangular loose-based tart tin for this recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, halved then thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, partially thawed
  • 1 tablespoon apricot jam (you want a smooth jam without large pieces of fruit if possible)

Pastry cream

  • 1 ½ cups full cream milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • ¼ cup cornflour
  • 15g butter, chopped and softened

Method

  1. Make the pastry cream first so it has time to cool before using. Heat the milk and vanilla (if using a pod, scrape out the seeds and place both the pod and seeds in the milk) in a small saucepan until just simmering.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a heatproof bowl.
  3. Gradually whisk the warm milk mixture into the egg mix. If you were using a vanilla pod, strain the mixture through a sieve to remove any pieces of the pod.
  4. Return the combined mix to the pan and cook (but don’t simmer), whisking, for about 5 minutes or until the mix thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in butter. Transfer to a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap (to prevent a skin forming) and set aside to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, place the sliced apple in a medium bowl with the sugar and lemon juice. I like to add the apple straight to the bowl with the lemon juice as I slice the apple to prevent discolouration. Toss to coat and set aside until needed.
  6. Grease your tart tin and line the base and side with pastry, trimming away the excess. Make sure you overlap and press the pastry together where there is a join. Once the tin is lined, place in the freezer for 20 minutes or until frozen.
  7. Preheat oven to 160C fan forced (180C). Remove the tart tin with the pastry from the freezer and spread the pastry cream evenly over the base. Arrange the apple slices in two rows, with each slice overlapping the previous. Drizzle any remaining liquid from the bowl over the apples.
  8. Bake tart for 25 minutes at 160C fan forced and then increase the oven to 180C fan forced (200C) and bake for a further 20-30 minutes, until the pastry and apples are golden and cooked. Remove and set aside.
  9. Place jam and 3 teaspoons of water in a small saucepan over low heat and bring to the boil, stirring, until smooth. Brush jam over the apple slices. Allow to cool then cover and refrigerate until serving. Note – my jam had large pieces of fruit in it, so I strained it through a sieve before brushing over the apples.
  10. Slice and serve with either as it is, or with cream, ice-cream or custard.

Adapted from French Apple Tart – Super Food Ideas April 2012