FOR THE APPLE PUREE
- 750g (3 medium) Bramley apples
- 3t bsp water
- 40g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp Calvados
- 1 orage
FOR THE TARTS:
- Roll of pre-made puff pastry
- Extra flour to dust
- 2 dessert apples
- 1 egg
- caster sugar to sprinkle
- Apricot jam
- To make the puree, peel and core the apples, cut into thin slices and put into a medium saucepan with the water, sugar and Calvados. Finely grate the zest from half of the orange and add to the pan.
- Cover and cook over a very gentle heat until the apples have softened and lost their shape. Stir to break them up, remove the lid and continue to cook until completely smooth and very thick. Taste and add more sugar if necessary. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, spreading the apple puree out on a cold plate to cool it down faster if necessary.
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm thickness and using a 12.5 cm plain pastry cutter, stamp out 4 discs. It is easier to roll the pastry into an oblong, just wider than the cutter, in order to cut the 4 discs out in a row.
- Place the pastry discs on a baking tray and using a sharp knife, trace an inner circle about 1cm form the edge of each pastry disc wthout cutting all the way through the pasty. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200 degrees or gas mark 6.
- Peel, core and finely slice the dessert apples. Using a fork, lightly beat the egg and pass through a sieve into a small bowl.
- Spoon about 1tbsp of the cooled apple puree into the centre of each pastry circle and spread it out evenly over the pastry, stopping at the border to leave it clear. Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles over the top of the puree, overlapping like flower petals within the border or tightly overlap the slices in a spiral shape. Brush the border of each pastry disc with a little beaten egg, trying not to drip it down the edge.
- Sprinkle each tart with a light dusting of caster sugar and bake in the top third of the oven for 20 mins or until the pastry is brown and risen and the apples are starting to brown on their edges. Warm a little apricot juam just before the tarts are cooked.
- Remove from the oven and brush the tarts generously with the warm apricot glaze. Serve warm or cold with cream, creme fraiche, creme anglaise or ice cream.
Recipe from Leith’s How to Cook Pastry by Leith’s School of Food and Wine, published by Quadrille.