FINE APPLE TART

Simple, fragrant and as good as the pastry and apples you use. In other words, by using our autumn harvested apples and great butter puff pastry you can’t go wrong.  The tart can easily be made ahead and baked last minute when you’re ready to serve dessert.

serves 4 as a dessert (or 8 smaller serves)

180g sheet quality butter puff pastry, cut into 30cm x 15cm rectangle (or if using 180g block of pastry roll to 2-3mm thick)

3 to 4 royal gala or fuji apples, cored and halved  

20g unsalted butter

1½ tablespoons caster sugar

1 teaspoon of rosemary leaves

Preheat oven to 220°C  (fan-forced 200°C).  Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Place pastry on baking paper lined tray.  Using a fork prick the pastry base leaving a 1cm border around edge of pastry.  This will allow the pastry to rise around edge of apples, forming a border.  Place the tray in the refrigerator.

Using a mandolin or sharp knife, cut apple halves into even 1mm wide slices.  Leaving a 1cm border around pastry edge, then starting at the top edge of pastry, working with skin side of slices away from you, arrange three similar sized apple slices pieces across, interlocking each other.  Repeat the next row allowing a 1cm overlap between top row of sliced apple. Repeat until the rectangle space is filled.  There will be apple slices left over.

Brush surface of apples with melted butter.  The prepared tart can be kept in refrigerator until ready to bake. When ready to bake, sprinkle the apple slices with two thirds of the sugar. 

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Working quickly, sprinkle the top with rosemary leaves and remaining sugar. Turn tray around and return to the oven. Bake a further 15 minutes or until pastry is puffed around edges, a dark golden brown and the apples golden and a little scorched around edges.

Serve tart in slices, warm or at room temperature, with ice cream or thick cream.

Tip: The tart can be prepared up to four hours ahead before baking.  Prepare up to the step of brushing apple slices with butter and keep in the refrigerator.  When ready for baking in preheated oven, follow remaining steps. 

Fiona Hammond © May 2018 

Recipe, photos and styling by Fiona Hammond. www.fionahammondfood.com

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Mark Brancatisano