We all know that winter months offer limited options in terms of seasonal fruit to play with, unless you spent the previous summer making preserves and jams (or you live in the Caribbean). However, that doesn’t necessarily mean ‘boring’.
For quite a while I have been wanting to bake version of the classic lemon meringue tart – oh boy, I love a good lemon tart, particularly if it’s filled with curd made with fragrant lemons from Sorrento or from around one of the Northern lakes, and decorated with soft blowtorched Italian meringue. But then I thought there are probably a gazillion lemon tart recipes out there , and this time I wanted to make something different.
Next seasonal fruit on the list? Apple. It only took a short search to realize that pure apple curd is not as popular as lemon or passion fruit ones, so apple it is. It required a fair amount of attempts to get it right. But when finally got there, and tasted my apple curd, I started jumping around the kitchen like a kid.
In this tart, the crème fraîche whipped ganache beautifully balances the sweetness of the apple curd, and it just goes very well with the apple flavour in general. I’m not even trying to describe how my apple tart with crème fraîche whipped ganache tastes. I don’t want to spoil your first bite. —theItalianbkr
- Prep time 12 hours
- Cook time 2 hours
- makes 1 x 24cm tart
- FOR THE SABLE' PASTRY AND CINNAMON CHABLON
cold unsalted butter, cubed
egg (1 large)
cinnamon powder (2 heaped teaspoons)
- FOR THE APPLE CURD AND WHIPPED GANACHE
egg (3 large eggs)
golden caster sugar
apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped (net weight)
- DAY BEFORE SERVING - Note: ideally the pastry should rest in the fridge overnight. If you have time to do it, make it 2 days ahead so you can then bake it straight away the day before of serving.
- MAKE THE SABLÉE PASTRY - Pour all dry ingredients (flour, corn flour, icing sugar, lemon zest) in a bowl. Add the cold butter and rub in with your fingers until the mixture resemble breadcrumbs. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the salt and vanilla extract. Add to the crumbly mixture and bring the dough together with a spatula and then using your hands, until it has a uniform consistency (resist the temptation to knead the dough for too long). Flatten the dough to a square shape, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 2 hours. When you are ready to roll it, take it out of the refrigerator and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- BAKE THE SABLÉE PASTRY - Prepare the tart rings or tin with butter and flour coating. Pre-heat the oven at 180°C. Roll out to the pastry to about 6mm thick. Roll the pastry up around the rolling pin and gently roll it out over the ring or tin. Push the dough into the mould, using a piece of leftover dough to make it adhere to the bottom and sides. Trim the overhanging excess dough with a sharp knife. Pop the pastry into the fridge for 10-15 minutes to firm up a bit.
- After 15 minutes, take it out of the fridge and blind bake the tart shell. Line the tart shell with some baking paper so that the dough is completely covered. Fill it up with dried beans, uncooked rice or ceramic beans and bake in the centre rack of the oven for 18 minutes. Remove the beans and baking parchment and bake for another 5 minutes uncovered. Set on a rack to cool completely before removing the shell.
- MAKE THE CINNAMON CHABLON - Once your tart case has completely cooled, make the white chocolate and cinnamon chablon. A chablon is a thin layer of chocolate that is brushed on a pastry to prevent it to get soaked by any liquid filling.
- Melt the white chocolate in a microwave or in a small bowl set over a bain-marie (make sure that the bottom of the top doesn’t touch the water). In the meantime, measure your cinnamon and get ready to work quickly. Once the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat. Add and stir the cinnamon, then brush the mix on the inside of the pastry case, working fast as the chocolate will cool down and set. Place in the fridge to set while you make the apple curd.
- MAKE THE APPLE CURD FILLING - First, make the apple purée. Put the apples in a pan with the apple juice and lemon zest and cook until they have a fluffy consistency. This should take around 25 mins. Remove from the heat and blend to a purée using a hand blander or masher. Set aside.
- Put the water into a small bowl, sprinkle the powdered gelatine over it and leave to bloom for at least 10 minutes. In the meanwhile, make the curd base. First add the eggs into a bowl, beat them slightly and then strain to remove all impurities. Set aside. Combine the apple puree, sugar and lemon juice and salt in a saucepan and gently bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. Slowly add the egg mix into the pan and whisk until smooth to prevent any lumps from forming. Once the eggs have been fully incorporated, put the pan back on the heat and bring to the boil. Cook for 2 minutes stirring continuously, then remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatine mixture. Let it cool down at room temperature for half an hour.
- Once the curd has cooled down, pour it into the tart shell until it reaches just a couple of millimetres below the edge. Refrigerate overnight to set the curd.
- MAKE THE CRÈME FRAÎCHE GANACHE - Put the water into a small bowl, sprinkle the powdered gelatine over it and leave to bloom for at least 10 minutes. Place the chopped white chocolate in a small bowl, set aside. In the meanwhile, pour the double cream, crème fraiche and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- When it’s just about to boil, remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatine to dissolve completely. Once the gelatine has dissolved, pour the hot mixture through a strain over the chocolate and cover the bowl for 3 minutes. Gradually stir slowly with a spatula from the centre towards the outside until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture has a smooth and shiny consistency. Cover with cling film, with the plastic touching the surface of the cream. Leave to cool at room temperature and then put in the fridge to set overnight.
- DAY OF SERVING: FINISH THE TART - Take the crème fraîche ganache out of the fridge and whip for a couple of minutes at high speed until fluffy. Transfer to a piping bag fit with a noozle of your choosing (I used a straight 20mm wide nozzle). Take the tart out of the fridge and pipe a few large domes of ganache. Fill the surface of the tart with smaller blobs of ganache, keeping some space to show the contrast betweeen the white ganache and the yellow curd. Feel free to get creative with the piping. When you’re done, cover and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.