Apples are available for so much of the year, and in such wonderful variety that it’s no wonder there are so many variations of the apple tart. The idea for this one came from reading Tamasin Day-Lewis’s Art of the Tart (see previous post) and from a strudel I remember my mum making, with ground almonds between the layers. In a strudel, this helps absorb the juice from the fruit and so keeps the pastry crisp. In this recipe is does that, and provides a vehicle for a little bit of booze too. I used a Portuguese almond liqueur, use whatever you have that seems like a match.
For the Pastry:
240g plain flour
120g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
55g icing sugar
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
For the Filling:
180g ground almonds
1kg apples – I used 8 medium Discovery
220g caster sugar
2tsp vanilla extract
75ml almond liqueur, optional
Preheat the oven to 180C and lightly grease a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin.
Put the flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor, and blitz until sandy. Add the egg yolks and blitz again until the pastry just starts to come together. Press into a flat disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
Meanwhile, peel, core and roughly chop about 5 of the apples, and cook gently with a tiny splash of water and 175g of the sugar for about 10 minutes, until slushy. Beat to a purée, then stir in the almonds, vanilla and liqueur if using.
Roll out the pastry and line your tin, neatly crimping the edges. Spread the almond mixture into the pastry, then slice the rest of apples and lay over the filling in overlapping circles. It’s up to you whether you peel them or not. I left the skin on mine, as it was such a lovely rosy pink, but it does make it more difficult to get a perfectly neat slice later!
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then remove, sprinkle over the remaining 45g of sugar and flick with a little water to help it dissolve. Bake for 20 more minutes until the apples are golden and pastry is crisp.
Eat this warm with vanilla ice cream, or a scoop of mascarpone.