Today feels like spring has sprung. I know, I know - it's only february but any sunny day past december gets me in the mood for spring dresses (particularly this one, please please) and less layers. I'm down to three today, practically tropical! The sun is shining and even though theres a long wait until summer I don't feel too bad about getting a little excited over spring. By mid march, I may've even whacked out the skin coloured tights. Crazy talk I know, hopefully the girls understand what I mean.
Anyway... This tart definitely the perfect way to welcome in spring with a wave goodbye to the colder months. Layer upon layer of sweet apples brushed with apricot jam in a case of pastry goodness. Perfect for a sunny afternoon and a cup of tea.
This also might be a lovely offering on Mother's Day, easy pretty and fairly cost effective. Just thinking ahead guys, we haven't got long to go.
Also, I know I said no more desserts but I can't show my love for the sun with a jacket potato, it's just not the same. Back to some savoury blogging next!
This recipe is adapted from the Sainsburys book of Puddings and Desserts by Carol Handslip, first published 1980, it's a staple in my Mum's kitchen.
For French Apple Tart you will need:
For the pastry:
175g plain flour
75g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
few drops of vanilla essence
For the filling:
1.5kg cooking apples
50g caster sugar
4 tablespoons apricot jam
Begin by creaming together the butter and the sugar.
Beat the yolks together and combine with the sugar and butter mixture. Add in the vanilla essence now too.
Sieve the flour in gradually and stir together until a ball of dough is formed. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for about half an hour.
Peel and core your apples.
In situ apple shot.
Finely slice the apples and place into a large bowl of water with a dash of lemon juice in to stop the apples from browning.
Now roll out your pastry so it will line the bottom of your tart dish. This quantity should fit a 20cm dish.
Press the pastry into the flutes of the dish.
Preheat your oven to 190c.
Transfer the apples to the pastry lining. Make sure you blot the apples before you put them into the dish or you'll have a watery tart. Not ideal.
Layer on in some kind of pattern. I tried to be neat, but ended up going a little freestyle.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until the apples just start to brown.
Heat your apricot jam for about 1-2 minutes to loosen it up.
If you would like to strain this for a completely smooth finish you can, but personally I think it makes little difference when it's being served up to a hungry family.
Brush the tart completely with the jam whilst it's still warm.
Serve with a little cream or creme fraiche.
Enjoy being everyone's favourite person until the tart disappears. Once it's gone, they'll want you to whip up another one.