Saturday, 13 February 2016
apple rose tart
This is such a romantic, whimsical tart I really wanted to post it in good time for valentine's day, just in case someone out there was crazy enough to make it for their someone special, but as my daughter says "you know, life..."
So here it is, my apple rose vanilla custard tart, kind of in time for the 14th, if you put the oven on right now; it's sweet, tart, crisp and creamy, and you don't have to be madly in love to make it. It takes some time, the apple roses are a bit fiddly but after the first you'll fly through them, it's not overly taxing, more craft project than patisserie.
Unbaked it is so beautiful, I was a little concerned cooking would ruin it, slightly more concerned when i took it out of the oven and thought it looked like an onion tart tatin *insert scream face emoji* I've been assured it definitely looks like apples, although onion roses will be someone's idea of perfection so I probably shouldn't obsess :)
The apples and custard shrink slightly over the slow bake, I filled the gaps with herbs from the garden, magically holding on to the last of their flowers. A light dusting of icing sugar will also do the trick if you don't have herbs to hand, maybe if you've used them all making that tart tatin...
I used careme, my favourite store bought pastry, "because, life...", the sweet vanilla bean shortcrust was out of stock so I went with the sour cream shortcrust and it was perfect. My go to pastry for tarts is Lorraine Godsmark's flaky pastry but I couldn't find the recipe for the life of me, I also love her creme cheese pastry but really any reliable shortcrust or flaky recipe will do.
Tart or no tart, loved up or not, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
apple rose custard tart
• line a 20 cm tart tin or ring with your pastry, carefully line with foil and fill with baking weights (I use uncooked rice), bake at 180ºC for 20 minutes
• remove the foil and baking weights, if the base looks wet, return to the oven for another 5 minutes or so, allow to cool completely
vanilla pastry cream (creme patisserie)
1/2 vanilla bean
100g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
100ml cream, whipped
• split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds, put the seeds and bean in a pan with the milk, slowly bring to the boil
• while the milk is heating, tip the sugar and cornflour into a mixing bowl, briefly combine with a whisk; add the egg yolks whisk until smooth and creamy
• whisking as you go, carefully add half the hot milk, once combined add the rest, whisk again, then pour through strainer into a clean large pan
• with the heat on low, continue to whisk, the mixture will thicken and eventually boil, you need to take this slowly or your custard will be grainy and possibly split, it will take around 8-10 minutes
remove from the heat, whisk in the butter, so much whisking!
• pour into a bowl, cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap, you want the wrap touching the surface of the creme to prevent a skin forming *remembers custard at school, shudders*
• when completely cool, fold through the whipped cream
• store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days
8 small apples, I used 6 granny smith and 2 pink ladies
juice of 1 lemon
granny smith apples are good here as the lower sugar content makes them less prone to browning
• fill a large bowl with cold water, add the lemon juice
• using a vegetable peeler, I find the Y shape most effective, peel long strips of apple, dropping them into the bowl of lemony water as you go, discard any strips that are entirely apple skin, stop after the first 4 apples
• take an apple strip, carefully roll the strip as tightly as you can, holding the apple coil, roll another strip around the outside, continue until you have an apple rose the size of a small, well, rose, place to one side and continue rolling
• repeat with the remaining apples, finishing with 6 or so much smaller apple roses
100g apricot jam
• heat the jam in a small pan until it melts, strain into a bowl
to construct the tart
• preheat the oven to 150ºC, place your tart shell on a baking sheet
• tip approximately half of the pastry cream into the shell, spread to the edges
• arrange the apple roses in the pastry shell, filling the gaps with the smaller roses
• bake the tart for an hour, pierce an apple with the tip of a sharp knife, if it feels firm return to the oven for up to 20 minutes, checking with the knife in 5 minute increments
• remove from the oven and while warm, brush with apricot jam
• serve immediately, or at room temperature, with the left over pastry cream, whipped cream if you prefer
I shot this tart over such a long time, I was in and out, picking up kids, dropping off kids, the light was varied, it was almost dark when I took these last shots, I think they're my favourites.