Monday, September 29, 2008

Apple Petal Tart

Stylishly presented, this tart has a double helping of cooked apples. Recipe serves 8.


2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
4 ounces (125 g) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
Filling and Decoration:
6 large red apples (about 2 pound/1 kg)
1/2 cup sugar-free apple juice
Juice of 1 lemon
4 teaspoons caster sugar
4 teaspoons apricot jam, warmed


1. Put the flour and butter into a food processor and mix until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, about 1 minute. Add the sugar; mix for a few seconds. Add the egg and 4 teaspoons chilled water and mix until a dough forms which leaves the sides of the bowl. Compress the dough together with clean cold hands; shape into a disc; wrap in greaseproof paper and chill for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, peel, core and chop 4 of the apples and put in a pan with the apple juice. Cover and stew, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the fruit softens. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to fit a 9 inch (23 cm) round pie dish. Decorate edge and prick base.
4. Line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper and a layer of baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove paper and beans.
5. Spread the cooked apple in the pastry case. Core the remaining apples and cut in half downwards, but do not peel. Thinly slice the apple halves and toss in lemon juice. Starting at the edge, arrange the slices in overlapping circles. Sprinkle with caster sugar.
6. Return to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes. Brush with the jam and cool slightly before serving.

Tip: If you do not have a food processor, make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour with the fingertips, then mix in the sugar, egg and water with a round-bladed knife.

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