An easy tart using wonderfully sharp autumal apples with a kick of almonds, this is lovely served simply with custard or a dollop of crème fraîche.
This is another of those recipes of mine that uses up ingredients that are lying around: there is always pastry in my freezer, almonds in the cupboards, dried fruit and, currently, apples from the allotment.
I sometimes soak the dried fruit overnight in Amaretto or alcohol of choice so they plump up and take on a lot of those lovely liqueur flavours but you can just use them as they are.
I prefer Bramley apples, one of the varieties I grow, as this variety of apple keeps its lovely sharpness and retains a good texture when it cooks, but you can use whatever you’ve got.
No brown apples!
To prevent enzymic browning, when fruit such as apples turn brown quickly once their flesh is exposed to the air, mix them in an acidic liquid – but you want to get flavour in there, too, rather than ruin the fruit!
Here I use lemon or lime (whatever I have), but I also add sugar and Amaretto so that the apples take on sweetness and more flavour: once the apples are mixed in the lemon/lime juice they will keep their colour for many hours or even overnight.
A simple glaze using the juices
The juices will mingle as the apples sit there, and these juices are great boiled up to a syrup to glaze the freshly-baked tart with. Entirely optional, but it does give a good finish and it means no waste.
Lattice or not!
I have gone for a lattice effect with the pastry which only takes about 15 minutes from start until the tart is in the oven, but you can simply spoon the filling onto the rolled-out pastry and scrunch up the edges to give a rustic look.
The stages for the lattice, which are actually very easy, are in my savoury chicken lattice recipe.
A marzipan alternative
I have also made this on many occasions using marzipan, rolled out very thinly and placed over the pastry before adding the filling. Especially if I have left-over marzipan from making the Christmas cake!
Recipe: apple and almond lattice tart – serves 6
- 500g puff pastry (the all-butter pastry is ideal)
Almond mixture (or use about 100g marzipan):
- 60g ground almonds
- 1 large egg, beaten (some will be used for brushing over the tart)
- 30g caster sugar
- a couple of drops of almond extract
- 1-2 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped fairly small
- 2 tablespoons demerara sugar (or whatever sugar you have), plus a little extra for sprinking over.
- juice of 1 lime or lemon (or use bottled lemon/lime juice)
- small handful of raisins or sultanas
- a generous splash of Amaretto, optional
(1) Preheat the oven to 200C (fan).
(2) For the almond mixture, put the almonds, sugar and almond extract into a small bowl and add most of the egg, reserving some for brushing over the pastry before it goes into the oven. Mix well to give a thick but spreadable paste. You can add a splash of water or Amaretto if it feels too thick.
(3) Mix the apples with the lime juice, sultanas, half of the demerara sugar and Amaretto. Set aside until needed.
(4) Roll out the pastry thinly to a rectangle and trim the edges. Place on a sheet of greaseproof with the shortest side facing you and imagine the pastry divided in thirds lengthways.
(5) Spread the almond mixture* down the centre “third” of the pastry, leaving about an inch at the top and bottom. Now spoon the apple mixture onto the almond mixture reserving the liquid (otherwise the pastry will become too soggy as it bakes), and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
*if using marzipan, roll it out very thinly to a rectangle about the size of the middle third of the pastry.
(6) For a lattice effect, follow the stages in the photos below (a savoury chicken version), making sure you keep the cuts as parallel as you can:
(7) Brush with the remaining egg and sprinkle over a little demerara sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes until deep golden brown.
(8) If you want a simple glaze, pour the liquid from the apples into a small pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes until thicker and slightly syrupy. Brush generously over the tart while it is still hot.