Food & Drink Magazine

Apple Tart

By Teresa Ulyate @couscousblog

Apple tart

Apple tart with sweet shortcrust and vanilla creme patisserie

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This beautiful spring dessert is fit for high tea! Apple tart does require a little time and effort, but you’ll be rewarded with a show stopping treat. The base is a sweet shortcrust pastry that can be made in a food processor (love that) which is filled with creamy vanilla bean crème pâtissière. This is topped with slices of apple and an apricot jam glaze – an absolute treat.

Apple tart

Apple tart recipe with sweet shortcrust pastry and vanilla bean creme patisserie

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Apple tart

Apple tart recipe with sweet shortcrust pastry and vanilla bean creme patisserie

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Apple Tart

The shortcrust pastry and crème pâtissière can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the fridge to save time. The pastry can be made by hand or in a food processor, I’ve included instructions for both methods below. To decorate I’ve used freeze dried flowers (gifted by Floriography) and a dusting of icing sugar – I love the final effect!


Sweet shortcrust pastry 

  • 350 g cake flour + extra for dusting
  • pinch of fine salt
  • 150 g butter, cubed
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Crème pâtissière

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 125 g castor sugar
  • 40 g cornflour
  • 500 ml (2 cups) full cream milk
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla paste
  • 15 g butter

Apple topping

  • 350 g apples (about 3 large apples)
  • 25 g smooth apricot jam
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) water
  • edible flowers and/icing sugar, to decorate (optional)

1.) To make the pastry by hand sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and use your finger tips to rub into the flour until fully incorporated. Sift in the icing sugar and stir.

2.) Add the eggs to the flour mix and use a knife to cut in, it will still be a bit crumbly. Turn the mixture out onto a clean work surface and press together. Knead the dough a few times until it comes together and is smooth. Shape into a disc and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Note – the pastry can also be made in a food processor. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, then pour this into the processor. Add the butter and blitz for a few seconds until incorporated. Sift in the icing sugar and mix in. Add the eggs and blitz for another few seconds just until the dough starts coming together. Tip out onto a clean work surface and knead together.

3.) To make the crème pâtissière place the egg yolks and half of the sugar in a mixing bowl. Use a hand beater to whisk on high speed for 3 minutes until pale and thick. Sift in the cornflour and mix in. Set aside.

4.) Place the milk and remaining sugar in a pot. Stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil. Once bubbles start to appear remove the pot from the heat.

5.) Slowly pour half of the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking. Add the egg mixture back into the pot with the vanilla. Whisk over a medium heat for a few minutes until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.

6.) Transfer the custard to a bowl. Place cling wrap directly on the surface and set aside to cool.

7.) Grease a 25cm tart tin. Lightly flour the work surface and roll the dough into a rough circle slightly bigger than the dish. Carefully roll the pastry onto the rolling pin and lift it into the tin. Gently press the dough into the tin. Trim the excess pastry, leaving a small overhang.

8.) Refrigerate the lined pastry tin for 20 minutes. While the pastry is chilling preheat the oven to 190ºC.

9.) Line the pastry with a piece of crumpled baking paper and fill with dry beans / baking beans. Place the tart tin on a tray and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and trim the overhanging pastry to neaten the edges. Bake for a further 5 minutes, or until the pastry is just cooked through but still pale.

10.) Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C. Spoon the crème pâtissière into the pie shell and smooth into an even layer. Peel, core and halve the apples. Cut into 5 mm slices. Arrange the apples on top of the crème pâtissière allowing them to overlap slightly. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the apples are golden. Set aside to cool.

11.) To prepare the glaze heat the jam and water together gently while stirring, until smooth. Use a pastry brush to brush over the cooled tart. Decorate with flowers and a dusting of icing sugar (if using) then slice and serve.

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