Don't blame me. Blame Paris. No, not Hilton, the place. Everytime I go there, I return heavier, with ideas, shopping and a few inches on my hips. The possibilities are endless, the pastries a delight, names ferried on romantic accents with lisps and lulls and sufficient theatre to engage. This recipe began with a visit to an orchard, and ended on a plate. And for all the love of Holland, I was not going to churn out any Dutch babies, filled with heaps of boiled-soft apples and dripping with cinnamon, raisins and nuts.
The best thing about this tart is the thin and crisp, crumbly crust. And the apply apple curd, not to mention the smooth creamy custard....and the sugar on top. Beats anything neighbouring countries have to offer.
I love that she made a homemade apple curd, it's SO much better than the jarred version in the store. This tart has a lot of steps but I do believe the final result is worth it. It's delicious and would make a great Sunday afternoon project. —Anna Francese Gass
Tarte Aux Pomme et Sucre
plain flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
frozen, unsalted butter
vanilla powder or paste
portion (or to taste) of apple curd (recipe below)
portion of creme patisserie (recipe below)
1 to 2
apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly into rings (about 2 to 3 mm) (I used Jonagolds)
1 to 2
tablespoons caster sugar
Apple Curd & Creme Patisserie
APPLE CURD, Makes enough for 2 tarts
large egg yolk
white, caster sugar
apples, peeled, cored, cooked to soften and then pureed
To make the pastry, put the sifted flour and the salt into a bowl. Using a large hole grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour. Then combine the flour, butter, and cold water by cutting in using two table knives till a loose dough is formed. Using your hands, gather the mixture and form into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes to chill.
After the resting time, pre-heat the oven to 220° C. Roll out the dough thinly on a clean, floured surface and use it to line a buttered 20- to 22-centimeter flan/tart tin. Prick the base lightly with a fork, cover with a piece of greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans/rice. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, then carefully remove the beans/rice and greaseproof paper. Return the tart to the oven and allow the tart base to just brown for a couple of minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Once cold, spread some apple curd till the base is covered with a thin layer, then follow with the crème patisserie. Finish off with the apple slices, trying not to overlap them. Bake for another 12 to 15 minutes at 200° C, till the apples are soft and the dough is golden.
Remove the tart from the oven and change settings to grill (or broil)—set on medium to high. Sprinkle some of the sugar over the top of the tart, return to the oven and place about 6 inches down from the heat source. Grill for a few minutes till the apples lightly caramelize and turn golden.
Remove from the oven and serve hot, warm, or cold.
Apple Curd & Creme Patisserie
TO MAKE THE APPLE CURD: Whisk the whole egg and egg yolk into a small saucepan and then pass through a sieve to remove thick bits of egg, which should be discarded. add the sugar to the egg mix and stir with a wooden spoon till it forms a soft mixture.
Put the pan on very low heat on your stovetop—continue mixing and then add the apple puree and juice. After 2 to 3 minutes, start adding the butter one chunk at a time, mixing well till butter is melted before adding another. Continue stirring on low heat. The curd should be ready after 10 to 12 minutes. Don't worry if it looks thin, it will thicken once cool. Store in clean, sterilized jars. Refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.
TO MAKE THE CREME PATISSERIE: Mix together the egg yolk, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. To this whisk in some of the milk. Place the saucepan over low heat and cook, whisking all the time while adding the rest of the milk in a steady stream till all used up.
After about 10 to 12 minutes the mixture should be thick, free of lumps, and beginning to bubble. Don’t worry if you have a few lumps, you can pass the cream through a fine-mesh strainer. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate till ready to use.
For the first 9 years of my life I hated food and really loved sugar till Wimpy (British Fast Food chain) changed my life! These days, all grown up, I've junked junk food and spend my days and nights on a quest - to find and share the sweet, sweet nectar that's food in The #NewNigerianKitchen!
Dreaming, cooking, eating and writing...about and adoring a strong food community that's big and bold enough to embrace the world's diverse cuisines - I'm passionate about celebrating Nigerian cuisine in its entirety.
Why do I love food so? It is forgiving. Make a recipe. Have it go bad....but wake up tomorrow and you can have another go at succeeding! Only with food!