….tales of taste and food wisdom, for modern times

Normandy Apple Tart November 3, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — Isabel @ 11:26 pm
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Tartistry: The Art of the Tart

When I was in Ireland at Ballymaloe, I (re)discovered a forgotten skill: pastry-making.  I hadn’t made pastry from scratch for years – it felt virtuous and I felt born again!   Ever since, I’ve loved making savoury and sweet continental style tarts.

Tarts, so versitile.  As the Bishop said to the Actress, you can put anything in a tart!  Go on…have a go…you know you want to.  So, in honour of Ballymaloe, the Actress and autumn, let us indulge in a little apple tartistry….


Depending on greed, will serve up to 8


For the sweet crust pastry base 

(Enough for two 23cm tart bases – freeze half the dough for later)

300g plain flour

3/4 teaspoon of salt

150g very cold unsalted butter

20g unrefined caster sugar

1 medium free range egg

1-3 teaspoons ice cold water

23cm loose-bottomed shallow tart tin (or6 x 12cm  tins)

A sturdy baking sheet/tray, large enough to sit the tart tin(s) on

For the Frangipane

100g unsalted butter (softened)

100g unrefined caster sugar

100g ground almonds

2 medium free range eggs

25g cornflour

For the top

2 red (or green) skinned eating apples

Unrefined caster sugar for sprinkling

50g apricot jam to glaze (add lemon juice if very thick)


For the Pastry Base:

  1. Make the sweet-crust pastry dough, following the destructions given in Techniques: Short Crust Pastry
  2. Tip the dough onto a pastry mat (Lakeland’s are fab) or a clean work surface and squeeze it gently together, bringing it into a ball.  Divide the dough into two, shape each into a flatish round about 3cms high and wrap the rounds in cling film.  Leave one to relax in the fridge for at least 45 mins and put the other (dated and clearly labelled Sweet Short Crust!) in the freezer for your next bit of tartistry
  3. Set the oven at 160 degs Fan, 180 degs conventional, Gas Mark 4 and put in the baking sheet/tray to pre-heat
  4. Lightly flour your surface and roll out the dough until you have a round big enough to line your 23cm tin
  5. If you’re making individual tarts, use a round pastry cutter to cut out six rounds
  6. Line the tin(s)  following the destructions given in Techniques: Lining a tart tin and baking blind.

For the Frangipane:

  1. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.  Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition
  2. Stir in the ground almonds and cornflour and pour the frangipane over the part-cooked pastry base(s), spreading it evenly
  3. Halve the unpeeled apples vertically and core them (or peel them, if you prefer). Slice the halves into thin slices and press them down lightly, in a circular overlapping pattern over the frangipane
To bake: 
  1. Place your gorgeous piece(s) of art on the baking tray in the preheated oven and cook  until the frangipane looks set – about 35 minutes for a large tart, about 20 mins for small ones
  2. Remove from the oven, sprinkle caster sugar over the apples and replace and cook for a further 10 minutes
  3. Let cool before removing from the tin, by (carefully) sitting it on a can of beans so the sides can come away
To serve:
  1. Warm the apricot jam and brush over the apples to glaze
  2. Serve yourself quite a large slice of deliciousness with a shamefully large dollop of creme fraiche or Greek yoghurt
  3. If you’ve made individual tarts, ensure you serve yourself two
  4. Sit back, feet up and enjoy the fruits of your labour (geddit?)
  5. Let others look on and weep!
Normandy Apple Tartistry!!

2 Responses to “Normandy Apple Tart”

  1. This looks really really delicious!

    • Isabella Says:

      Oh thank you for commenting! Only just started…it’s my first recipe post! I have come across your blog – just had another look at it. Liked the comment about obsession and leniency!

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