The Germans have so many mouthwatering versions of their Apfelkuchen that it’s hard to pick a favourite. This is the recipe my mum swears by: it’s a shortcrust-based tart topped with apple quarters and snuggled in the lightest of vanilla custards. A pure delight! —Anne's Kitchen
Prep 45’ – Fridge 2h – Oven 45’ – 23cm springform – A little effort
Start by making the pastry: cut the butter into small cubes and put into a large bowl with the flour, 1 egg, 30g sugar and salt. Knead with a hand mixer until the dough starts to come together.
Then, use your hands and briefly knead into a firm dough, adding one or two tablespoons of water if too dry, just enough to bring the dough together without making it sticky. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in cling film. Put into the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Just before the 2 hours are up, quarter, core and peel the apples. Carefully cut a fan shape into the ‘back’ of each apple wedge without cutting all the way through. Roll each wedge in lemon juice and put into a large bowl.
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan.
Grease a 23cm spring form tin. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until really thin and lift it into the tin. Make sure the dough goes up to about two thirds of the height of the spring form ring, and press it firmly against the rim to make it stick. Cut off any excess pastry. Prick the bottom several times with a fork.
Distribute the apple quarters in a circle over the dough, starting on the outside and pressing each slice against the pastry rim to prevent the pastry from collapsing while baking. Fill the tin with the remaining apple slices and bake for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the custard: mix the cream with 80g sugar and 2 eggs until frothy, then add the vanilla bean seeds.
Once the tart has baked for 25 minutes, pour the custard mix over the apples and bake for a further 25-30 minutes or until nicely golden. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
TIP: You could replace the vanilla with ¼ tsp cinnamon.