french apple tarts
These little French Apple Tarts fit the bill.
Apart from apples all you need is some apricot jam and good quality all butter puff pastry and the remaining ingredients you'll probably already have in the pantry.
It's not much of a recipe really. You stew the apples, cut the pastry into rounds, top the pastry with the stewed apples, decorate the tarts with some thinly sliced apples, sprinkle the tarts with caster sugar then bake them until golden, brush the tops with apricot jam and serve. It couldn't be much easier than that!
Here's the recipe for you.
French Apple Tarts - serves 6
375 g good quality all butter puff pastry – I used Caréme
2 large green apples, peeled, quartered and chopped into chunky pieces (I used granny smith apples)
25 ml water
2 tablespoons caster sugar
15 gm (½ oz) unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean, split in half
2 small red apples (I used pink ladies)
30 g (1 oz) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon water
Cream or ice cream, to serve
To make the puree, place the chopped green apples, the water, the sugar, the butter and the vanilla bean in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and cook gently for approximately 30 minutes or until the apples are soft and the excess liquid has evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat, take out the vanilla pod and allow the apples to cool a little before pureeing them. I used a stick blender but you could use a food processor or you could push the apples through a wire sieve. Check the apple puree for sweetness. You may need to add a little more sugar depending on how tart your apples are. Set the puree aside to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 250°C/480°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper. On a floured surface, roll the pastry out a little, and then cut out six 10 - 12 cm rounds of pastry. Place the rounds of pastry onto the baking tray. With a sharp knife, mark a border about ½ cm in from the edge of the pastry which will form the side of the tart. Prick the base of each tart with a fork then place the tray of pastry cases into the fridge while you prepare the apple topping.
Peel and core the small red apples then slice into paper-thin slices using a sharp knife or a mandoline. I used a mandoline then cut each apple round into halves. Remove the tray of chilled pastry cases from the fridge and fill the inner circle of each case with 1-2 tablespoons of the apple purée. You may have a little apple puree left over.
Top the purée with the sliced apple, starting at the centre of the tart, overlapping each slice of apple a little to form a circle of apple. The apple slices should completely cover the puree. Using a pastry brush, brush melted butter around the edge of the pastry and gently dab over the apple slices. Sprinkle a teaspoon or so of caster sugar over the sliced apples. This helps the apples slices to colour.
Place the tarts in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180°C (350°F) and cook for another 10 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the apple slices are slightly coloured.
While the tarts are baking, make the apricot glaze. Combine the apricot jam and water in a small saucepan and place over a low heat, stirring until dissolved. Pass the mixture through a wire sieve to remove any chunky pieces, then return the mixture to the pan and bring to the boil. Cook gently until the glaze is clear and the desired consistency is reached.
Remove the tarts from the oven and while the tarts are still hot, brush the apple slices and the edges of the pastry with the hot apricot glaze. Serve warm or cold with ice-cream or cream.
The tarts don't keep well so you'll need to make and serve them on the same day. They're pretty yummy though, so that shouldn't be much of a problem.
I hope you enjoy the tarts.
See you all again soon,