These apple tarts are a treat to eat. The slightly crisp apple slices, the tart blueberries, creamy custard and buttery pastry make for one delicious mouthful. They also look totally divine and are sure to impress. In truth, they were a little tricky to make and there was a lot of apple slicing involved! I did harbor some doubts as I surveyed the enormous mound of apple slices in front of me. However it all worked out in the end and my work paid off. These tarts are definitely worth the effort if you fancy something a little bit special.
I first saw this idea on Mary Anne’s blog from The Great British Bake off and was so impressed that I had to replicate it. Though, I did change a good few elements from the original recipe. I made a plain pastry rather than a sweet as I found the syrupy apples are sweet enough. I also made plain vanilla custard as opposed to apple custard. Plus I added fresh blueberries and blueberry jam, as I fancied a nice splodge of colour, and a contrasting flavour and texture for the apples. Overall I am delighted with the results. These are tarts worthy of a queen…or a king. This recipe makes 9 delicious tarts.
– 225 g plain flour, sieved
– 110 g real salted butter, diced.
– 100g sugar
– 120ml double cream
– ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
– 1 egg
– 2 egg yolks
– 1 and 1/2 tbs cornflour
– 9 dessertspoons of blueberry Jam
– 5 Pink Lady apples
– 1 litre apple juice
– 500g caster sugar
– 9 fresh blueberries
Place the flour and the butter in a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Next, add about a teaspoon of water and put the processor on again. Mix until the mixture comes together to form a dough. If you need a little more water, add it a drop at a time. You want the dough to just hold together. If you put in too much water, the dough will end up sticky and will taste tough. Mould the dough into a round ball, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least thirty minutes.
In a medium sized bowl, mix the sugar, cream, egg, egg yolks, and vanilla together with a whisk. In a small cup place the cornflour and add one tablespoon of the egg mix to the cornflour and mix until well combined. Pour this mix from the cup into the rest of the egg and beat well with the whisk. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and place in the fridge until required.
Place the sugar and apple juice together in a large saucepan. Heat on a medium heat, until all of the sugar has dissolved. Meanwhile core the apples with an apple corer. Next, cut the apples in a half vertically. Slice the apples into thin semi circles. It is best to try and have the semi circles as even as possible, so you will need to discard (eat!) the smaller semicircle bits on the edge. Place the apple slices into the hot sugar and apple juice mix. Simmer gently, until tender. This should take no more than ten- fifteen minutes. You need the apple slices to be soft enough to roll, but not too mushy so as they fall apart.
Drain the apples with a colander and reserve the apple juice for use later. Once the apples are cool enough to handle, lay them on a large chopping board. Begin by placing one slice on the board with the broad part of the semi circle facing towards you. Overlap the next slice, so that it is halfway over the first slice. Continue with this method until you have 12 slices arranged in a single strip. Lay out 9 strips, exactly the same as this one, one strip for each tart.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface. It can be a bit tricky getting the pastry into a muffin tin. My trick is to use a cutter that is 12 cm in diameter. I don’t have a cutter that is this size, so I use a 12 cm round Tupperware dish as a cutter. You could also use a 12 cm saucer and cut around it. Once you have cut out your 12cm circles, place each one carefully into the muffin tin.
Once you have the muffin tin filled with nine pastry cases, spoon a tablespoon of jam into each one. It can be any flavor jam that compliments apple. Then, spoon 1 -2 tablespoons of the custard on top of the jam. Next roll up the apple slices, one strip at a time. Start at the left hand side of the board and roll until you have tight roll of apple slices. Carefully drop the apple posey into the custard. Place a blueberry in the centre of each apple tart.
Place in the pre-heated oven for ten minutes and then reduce the heat to 180 degrees and cook for a further ten minutes. Keep a close eye on them, as the thin apple slices can burn easily. Midway bewteen cooking turn the tin around full circle to ensure even baking. After the twenty minutes, the pastry should be golden brown on the sides and underneath. Once cooked, leave to cool in the tin for five minutes, before removing and placing a wire rack.
Meanwhile, place the reserved apple liquid in a saucepan over a medium to high heat. Cook until the the liquid thickens into a glossy sticky syrup. Using a silicone brush to paint the hot syrup onto the apple tarts to give a nice shiny sweet finish. Enjoy with a dollop of cream or creme fraiche.