Pink Lady® Apple tart
The perfect Pink Lady® treat
How can I best describe this apple tart? Caramelised apple wedges with honey, a touch of lemon, cranberries and a delicate combination of spices. But that’s not it yet – it all sits on an almond and butter layer, wrapped in a light and crisp butter pastry. Absolutely delicious. This Pink Lady® apple tart is one of the best I have ever made (and eaten). Yes, it’s a bit of extra work, but oh, so worth it.
Crunchy Pink Lady® apples are delicious fresh, and unlike many other apples, indeed great to bake with. These apples retain their structure and even the blush colour when cooked. The refreshing taste is perfect with zesty lemon, spices and nuts in this tart.
Plan ahead and prepare the pastry the day before and let it rest in the fridge overnight. Prepare the apple filling ahead as well or while the pastry is baking. Don’t be deterred by the length of the recipe, it’s just there to help you achieve the best end results. Enjoy the tart warm from the oven or at room temperature with a dollop of Greek yoghurt (my favourite), ice cream, custard or a splash of pouring cream. It’s even delicious the next day, although I doubt there will be anything left.
This recipe is a good example of how much I enjoy cooking with Pink Lady® apples and being their brand ambassador for the 2020 season.
500 ml (300 g) stone ground cake flour
45 ml (3 tbsp) castor sugar
7,5 ml (½ tbsp) finely grated lemon rind
180 ml (180 g) cold butter, cut into small cubes
2 large egg yolks
45 ml (3 tbsp) ice-cold water
500 g (about 4) Pink Lady® Apples, with the skin on
30 ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
5 ml (1 tsp) finely grated lemon rind
30 ml (2 tbsp) butter
30 ml (2 tbsp) honey
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
1,25 ml (¼ tsp) ground cardamom
1,25 ml (¼ tsp) ground allspice
2,5 ml (½ tsp) ground mixed spice
0,6 ml (⅛ tsp) ground cloves
100 ml (65 g) dried cranberries
60 ml (¼ cup) soft butter
80 ml (⅓ cup) castor sugar
75 ml (60 g) ground almonds
0,6 ml (⅛ tsp) vanilla powder or 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
1 large egg, beaten
1. Pastry: Place flour, sugar, lemon rind and butter in a mixing bowl. Rub butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips to resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the egg yolks and water. Mix by hand or with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and gently form it into a ball of pastry. This process can also be done in the two steps in a food processor.
2. Divide pastry into one-third and two-thirds. Shape the two pieces into balls and flatten with the palm of your hand. Wrap both pieces in cling film and refrigerate for about 1 hour. (Prepare the apple filling in the meantime.)
3. Place the bigger piece of pastry onto a lightly floured work surface or a large piece of baking paper. Roll out to a circle, big enough to line the base and sides of a 25 cm tart dish.
4. Line the tart dish and cut off any excess pastry. Prick the pastry base with a fork and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 °C.
5. Place a piece of baking paper on top of the pastry in the tart dish and fill with baking beans or dried beans. Blind bake for 10-15 minutes or until just cooked. Remove the baking paper and beans and bake for another 5 minutes or until cooked and lightly golden brown. Allow to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 180 °C.
6. On a large piece of baking paper, roll out the remaining piece of pastry to about 26 cm in diameter. Using heart-shaped cookie cutters, cut a few hearts out of the pastry, but keep the shapes as decorations. Place baking paper with pastry and hearts on a tray, cover and refrigerate until needed.
7. Apple filling: Cut apples into quarters, core and then cut each quarter into 4-5 wedges. Mix the apples with the lemon juice and rind. Place butter and honey in a large saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Add the spices and mix through. Stir in the apple mixture to coat with the spice mixture.
8. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Take care not to overcook the apples – they should be tender, but not mushy. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
9. Almond filling: Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined and no butter lumps are visible. Spread onto the cooled pastry base.
10. Spoon cooled apple filling on top of the almond filling and sprinkle cranberries over.
11. Lightly brush the edge of the tart base with a little water to help stick the uncooked pastry on top of it. Remove heart cut-outs from baking paper and set aside.
12. Flip over the chilled, rolled out pastry layer onto the tart filling with the baking paper. Peel off the baking paper. This helps to retain the shape of the rolled-out pastry. Carefully crimp down the edges of the pastry with a fork.
13. Arrange the heart cut-outs on top of the pastry and lightly stick it down with a little water, gently pressing it onto the pastry top.
14. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the almond filling is cooked and the pastry is golden brown.
15. Enjoy the tart hot or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, Greek yoghurt, custard or cream.