I have been wanting to experiment with puff pastry, and now on holidays, I have the time and space to get some practice in. Hence this apple and almond tart. This tart is made with rough puff pastry. It’s still a little fiddly to make, but not quite as time-consuming as real puff pastry.
However, unless you’re in the mood for some rolling and folding, you can just as well use good butter puff pastry, ready rolled, from the supermarket. There are plenty of good recipes for puff and rough puff pastry if you want to go down this route. James Morton in How Baking Works and Paul Hollywood in How to Bake both take you through the process. And with all the diagrams too! So I’m assuming you will use the good store-bought stuff, or follow the directions of one the afore-mentioned Baking Aficionados!
I put an almond sugar filling in the tart before arranging some red apples in slices, with skin, on the tart. The almond mixture is not quite a frangipane as it has no butter. But you still end up with a rich almond paste on which to rest the apples.
1 1/2 red eating apples
Juice of a lemon
65g ground almonds
65g caster sugar
65g icing sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 large free-range egg, beaten
1 quantity puff or rough puff pastry (enough to make a tart base about the size of a dinner plate – maybe 26 cm?)
Raw or ordinary caster sugar to scatter over the tart.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
To make the almond filling combine the ground almonds and sugars in the bowl of food processor. Add the almond extract and enough of the beaten egg to make a paste. The paste should be just firm enough to spread/ease into your pastry base.
Core and slice the apples thinly, and place the slices into the lemon juice to stop them going brown.
Roll out your chilled pastry, and cut a large circle, using a dinner plate as a guide. Place the circle on baking paper on a baking tray. Score the circle with another circle, 2cm inside the outer edge. This will give your tart an edge. Prick all over with a fork.
Place the almond mixture on to the pastry, leaving the outer 2cm circle free. Don’t worry if it doesn’t quite cover the pastry, just do your best. rough is OK. Drain the apples slices and place in any artistic way you like on the tart.
Brush the 2cm edge of the tart with the rest of the beaten egg. Scatter the caster sugar over the tart, apples and the edge, but making sure the apples get a good covering. Place the tart in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. The tart should be golden brown, and puffy round the edge.
Serve warm or cool with plenty of thick cream!