Flan (shortcrust) pastry & apple tart by Michel Roux...

I'm always a "yes person" when someone even as much as mentions an apple pie/tart! Michel Roux's apple tart/pie isn't any different! What's more - I think this is one of THE BEST apple tarts I've ever eaten! OK - there's a little bit of work involved here but result is SO worth it! The finished tart looks stunning - would be a perfect centrepiece for a party :) The pasty is short, crispy and buttery and what's on top of it is just pure heaven! :D You DO have to try it! My favourite of eating it - warm with a bit of vanilla ice cream on the side.

This recipe comes from a fantastic book "Pastry" by Michel Roux.

How to make it...

Flan (shortcrust) pastry
Ingredients (makes 480 g):
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 250 g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon  caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 40 ml cold water

Apple pie
- 300 g flan pastry
- 6 dessert apples
- 1 vanilla pod
- 60 g butter
- 80 g caster sugar

Sieve the flour and mix it with the salt and sugar. Place the four into a work surface, and make a well in the middle. Place the butter and egg into the well. Mix the butter and egg together with your fingers, and gradually incorporate the flour into the mixture to form a sticky dough. The dough should start looking like breadcrumbs/grains. Add the water and keep mixing/rubbing to form a firm pastry dough. Roll the pastry dough into a ball, wrap in cling-film and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.

Apple pie:
Roll out the pastry to a round, 3 mm thick, and use to line a lightly buttered 24 cm diameter loose-bottomed tart tin or flan ring. Pinch up the edges to make a fluted edge a little higher than the rim. Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200 C. Peel, core and halve the apples. Cut the apples to 2 mm thick slices (best to use a "mandolin"). Put a third of the apples (the outer smaller slices) into a saucepan. Keep the other two-thirds packed together (to stop them discolouring). Add 50 ml water, the vanilla pod and butter to the apples in your saucepan and cook gently until tender. Take off the heat, discard the vanilla pod and using a whisk work the apples to compote consistency. Leave to cool. For the glaze - in a small pan, dissolve the sugar in 40 ml water. Bring to boil and bubble for 4-5 minutes to make syrup. Leave to cool.
Prick the base of the pastry case lightly. Pour in the cold apple compote and spread gently with a spoon. Arrange a border of overlapping apple slices around the tart, then arrange another circle inside, with the slices facing the other way. Fill the centre with a little rosette of small slices. Bake for about 35 minutes until the pastry and apples are evenly cooked to a light golden colour.
Leave the tart to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing the flan ring or tart tin. Brush the top with the glaze, place the tart on a wire rack and leave until just cooled. Transfer to a plate and serve cut into slices.


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