Sunday, 16 January 2011

Dainty old fashioned apple slices

One thing was sure when I was a kid, it was that Granny O'Toole would always have a tart hot just out of the oven, either rhubarb or apple, which you could smell before you had even arrived at the gate.

When my granny made a tart she only needed to buy the sugar and the flour; the butter she made herself, the hens laid eggs in her yard, the cream it was served with came from the cow in the shed and grandad always made sure she had plenty of apples and rhubarb. Everything was fresh and no tart has ever come close to being as good as granny's....although the recipe below comes close and is adapted from
from Darina Allen's "Irish Traditional Cooking" cookbook.

You will need:

for the pastry : 225g butter, 50g caster sugar, 2 free range eggs, 340g white flour

for the filling : 700G of apples (I used a mix of different types of organic apples) , 100g sugar and a sprinkling of whole cloves
one brownie tin or another rectangular baking tin

to make:
1. first make the pastry: put the sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until fluffy (you can also do this by hand) add the eggs and beat for several minutes before adding the flour. Roll into a ball, cover in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for a least one hour.
2. while the pastry is chilling you can core, peel and slice the apples (I like to quater the apples and then cut in relatively thick slices) and cover in lemon juice to avoid discolorisation
3. preheat oven to 180°c
4. to assemble the tart: cut one third of the pastry and put back in the fridge to chill (will be easier to work with when you are ready to use it). On a cold lightly floured surface roll out the remaining two thirds of the pastry to line your brownie tin and leave some of the pastry hanging over the edges
5. arrange apples on tart base and sprinkle with sugar and cloves
6. take remaining pastry our of fridge and roll out to make a lid for the tart
7. seal lid with the edges of the base and egg wash
8. cook in oven for approx 40 mins until top is golden and apples are TENDER
9. to serve, cut into squares and serve with freshly whipped or clotted cream

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