Normandy tart by Dame Prue Leith
Thank you to Dame Prue Leith for this beautiful recipe.
“I’ve been demonstrating my Normandy apple tart for years, and it always gets a gratifying round of applause when it comes out of the oven. It’s a piece of cake (or tart) to make if you have a food processor.”
For the pastry:
- 225g plain flour plus extra for dusting
- 140g cold butter plus extra for greasing
- 1 medium egg
- a pinch of salt
- 60g caster sugar
For the almond filling (frangipane):
- 170g butter
- 170g caster sugar
- 170g ground almonds
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp Calvados, kirsch, or whatever liqueur you like
- a few drops of almond essence
For the glaze:
- 3–4 small red dessert apples, skin left on, cored and halved
- 100g smooth apricot jam
- juice of 1⁄2 lemon
Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6, and put a baking sheet on the middle shelf to heat. Lightly butter a 26cm (10in) loose-bottomed tart tin and dust with flour, tipping out any excess.
For the pastry, whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor until the dough forms a ball. Roll it out into a thin, even round big enough to line the tin. Lift the pastry by rolling it round the rolling pin and then unrolling it over the tin.
Don’t worry if the pastry cracks. It is so rich that you can just use your fingers to patch any gaps. Ease the pastry into the corners, then roll your rolling pin firmly across the top, to trim away any excess pastry.
For the almond filling, whizz everything in the processor (no need to wash the bowl after the pastry). Spread it evenly over the pastry case.
Lay an apple half, cut-side down, on a board and slice across finely, keeping the slices in order and in their original half-apple shape. With the heel of your hand, gently push the half-apple so the slices separate a little and lie flat, overlapping.
Using a palette knife or spatula to help, lift the sliced half-apples and place them on the frangipane in concentric circles, starting at the rim. Gently press them into the frangipane.
Set the tart in the middle of the oven, on the hot baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4 and bake for another 15–20 minutes or until the filling is set and brown. Then remove from the oven.
For the glaze, melt the jam with the lemon juice in a small heavy-based saucepan. Brush or spoon carefully all over the apples and filling.
When the tart is still just warm, check that the edges of the pastry are not stuck anywhere to the metal ring (over-enthusiastic jamming can cause a problem), then ease the tart from the tin. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.
Many thanks again to Dame Prue Leith for sharing this delicious recipe.
These recipes are extracted from “Prue: My All Time Favourite Recipes” which is available to buy now (Bluebird, £25).