Best Ever Apple Tart

It’s apple season and so, faced with a bounty of windfalls this last week or two, I’ve been finding (welcome) excuses to make dishes using apples. Apple crumble is a big favourite in our house, but I think a homemade apple tart with lovely short pastry and plenty of cinnamon-spiced filling is hard to beat.

Serves 8   |  45 mins prep, plus 30 mins chilling, plus 50 mins cooking

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 350g plain flour plus extra for dusting
  • 175g cold butter or margarine, cubed
  • about 90ml cold water
  • beaten egg for glazing

Filling

  • about 1kg bramley apples
  • juice of a small lemon
  • ground cinnamon
  • 85g light brown soft sugar plus a tbsp to sprinkle over
  • 1.5 tbsp cornflour

You will also need…

  • a 23cm pie tin
  • a baking sheet

Method

  1. Start with the pastry. Put the flour in a bowl and dice the butter/margarine into small cubes, then using your fingertips, rub them together until the mix is fully incorporated and resembles breadcrumbs. At this point, add half the cold water and mix in with a knife. Add half the remaining and again, mix in with a knife. If you prefer, you can do this a tbsp at a time – you’ll need 6 tbsp in total. Keep adding water and mixing with a knife until it starts to hold together. Now gather it up in a ball and turn it out onto your work surface. Wrap it in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.

  2. Meanwhile, get on with the filling. Peel, core and slice the apples. toss them in lemon juice, then add the sugar and the cornflour and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. When the pastry has been chilled for 30 mins, unwrap it and cut in half. Flour your work surface and roll half into a circle about 35 cm across, then, using floured hands, fold it in half and then in half again to resemble a fan shape.
  4. Place the pastry in the tin with the point in the centre and very gently unfold so that it covers the bottom of the tin without stretching. Don’t trim at this point – the pastry should be hanging over the edge of the tin.
  5. Now fill the pie tin with the apple mixture. Distribute as evenly as you can and mound it up in the centre. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg.
  6. Now roll the other half of the pastry out in the same way, folding it up and placing the point in the centre of the apple tin, then unfold to cover the pie.
  7. Press down the edges and trim the excess with a knife then crimp the edges or use a fork to make a patt
    Best Ever Apple Tart

    ern around the outside.

  8. Use the trimmings to cut out leaf shapes and decorate the top however you like, making a hole with a knife in the centre of the pie. Brush the top with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake at 200c (fan) for 15 mins, then turn down the temperature to 160c (fan) and bake for another 30-35 mins until golden and cooked through.
  10. Serve with cream, custard, ice-cream or mascarpone.

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