The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking
This is a recipe for using up windfalls at harvest time, as long as the variety of apples you grow are well-flavoured, with a sweet/tart taste, and will keep their shape when baked.
MAKES ONE MEDIUM TART
You Will Need
To make the pastry, sift the flour, salt and sugar into a mixing
bowl. Add the pieces of butter and toss in the flour so they
are lightly coated, then gently rub the butter into the flour until
the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk and water
and stir into the crumbs with a round-bladed knife to make a
firm dough. If there are dry crumbs, work in more cold water
a teaspoon at a time. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap
in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured worktop to a large
circle about 32cm across and use to line the flan tin. Leave the excess pastry hanging over
the rim. Prick the base with a fork, then chill for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.
Carefully neaten the pastry rim, trimming off the excess
pastry. Line the case with greaseproof paper, fill with baking
beans and bake blind in the heated oven for 12–15 minutes
until the pastry is set and firm. Remove the paper and beans,
then return to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes until
the pastry is crisp and lightly coloured.
Set the flan tin on a heatproof surface. Put the baking sheet
into the oven to heat up, and reduce the oven temperature to
While the pastry case cools, peel and quarter the apples.
Cut out the cores, then cut the apples into very thin slices.
Arrange the apple slices, slightly overlapping, in the cooled
pastry case, starting from the edge and working round in neat
concentric circles. Make sure the pastry case is completely
filled to the top, with no gaps, and the top layer looks pretty.
Measure the cream in a jug. Add the egg, sugar and brandy
(or vanilla) and mix well until smooth. Slowly pour this mixture
evenly over the apples, letting it seep through the layers.
Set the flan tin on the heated baking sheet in the oven and
bake for about 35 minutes until the custard is just set when
you jiggle the tart and the apples are a golden colour. Set the
tin on a wire rack and quickly brush the top of the tart with
apricot jam or glaze to give a glossy sheen. Carefully unmould
the tart and leave to cool. Eat warm or at room temperature.