French apple tart
You will need
For the pastry
100g/4oz butter, diced
150g/6oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50g/2oz caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp cream For the filling 1 vanilla pod
125g/5oz butter (at room temperature)
100g/4oz icing sugar, sifted
25g/1oz plain flour
100g/4oz ground almonds
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Large pinch of ground cinnamon
450g/1lb cooking apples
Juice of Â½ lemon
2-3 tbsps apricot jam
Softly whipped cream and caramel ice cream, to serve
To make the pastry, place the butter in a food processor with the flour and sugar and pulse until just blended. Add the egg yolk and cream and blend again briefly. Cover with clingfilm and chill for one hour to rest.
To make the filling, split the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Place 100g (4oz) of the butter and the icing sugar in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy, using an electric hand beater.
Beat in the flour and almonds and then gradually beat in the eggs, vanilla seeds and cinnamon. Continue to beat for five minutes until light and fluffy.
Preheat the oven to 190Â°C/375Â°F/Gas Mark 5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 23cm/9in loose-bottomed flan tin. Chill again for 15 minutes to allow the pastry to rest.
Peel the apples and cut into quarters to remove the cores, then cut into thin wedges. Tip into a bowl and squeeze in the lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
Spread the almond filling in the pastry case and carefully arrange the apple slices on top in a fan shape, then gently press the apples down into the filling. Dot with the remaining 50g/2oz butter.
Bake the tart for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is cooked through and the apples are golden brown. Remove from the flan tin and transfer to a plate.
Melt the apricot jam in a pan or in the microwave and brush over the tart.
To serve, cut the tart into wedges and serve warm or cold on serving plates with a good dollop of whipped cream and a scoop of caramel ice cream.