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Sunday, January 16, 2011

apple tart

It was our turn this week to entertain the family, but we chickened out at the last minute and asked Ilze if we could have it at their house. We said our braai was so tiny and we enjoyed their beautiful garden so much. I think it has more to do with our laziness to clean up this dump. The One has been working again for two weeks.

Anyway, the weather wouldn't have allowed us to have a braai. This morning it is overcast and rainy. Cool.

So our contribution to the lunch at my sister's today is my Sinful Apple Tart. I am using Woolies' pears instead of apples for a subtle but noticeable variation. In short, I am trying to show off.

I have just had a piece of the apple tart I baked last night, just to see if the recipe still works. Having watched so many kitchen cooking competitions on TV, I know never to make a dish for an important occasion before having practiced it at least once. Even if it is a dependable, tried and tested recipe like this one. I am already walking on the edge of the cliff, using pears instead of apples...

As I was saying, it is sinfully yummy, even if it is artery-clogging and gives you a lethal sugar overdose. That's why we don't have it too often. For best results, serve warm with a dab of double thick cream and strong, bitter coffee. YUM.

Here is the recipe, if anyone is interested. I found it on the web once when I was looking for a decent and quick apple tart recipe. It is attributed to a Hèlené and it is printed with another apple tart recipe on the page. I have used the other recipe so many times by mistake that I have marked them to avoid confusion. I have written "NOT this one" next to the bottom recipe and "This one" next to the top recipe. I just find my favourite quicker, easier and more delicious.

Sinful Apple Tart

1 cup sugar (250ml / 8 fl.oz)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter (30ml / 1 fl.oz)
pinch of salt
¼ cup milk (63ml 2 fl.oz)

1 cup self-raising flour (250ml / 8 fl.oz)

1 tin pie apples (420g / about 1lb)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4.

2. Mix sugar, eggs, butter, salt and milk. In that order. No need to beat, use your arms.

3. Sift the flour and add to the mixture in batches, mixing well after each batch. It is impossible to get lumps, even if you try.

4. Pour the mixture in a normal tart or pie dish (about 20cm/8 inch). No need to grease it first, but if you really want to, I suppose it wouldn't do any harm.

5. Drain the apples (conserve a bit of the syrup for later). Arrange the apples on top of the dough, in fancy patterns if you want. I just plonk mine all over the place for a rustic look. Don't worry if they sink into the dough.

6. Bake for ½ hour at 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4, then reduce the temperature to 150°C / 300°F / Gas mark 2 for ¼ hour.

7. Prepare the sauce.

Sinful Apple Tart Sauce

1 tin evaporated milk (380g, ¾lb, don't know if that's small)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use essence if you don't have extract, or a vanilla pod if you're posh)
1 cup sugar (250ml / 8 fl.oz)
bit of conserved syrup from the tin

1. Just add it all together in a saucepan and bring to the boil gradually. Stir occasionally, and watch it carefully. It easily burns or boils over if left unattended.

2. Keep piping hot and pour over the tart as soon as it comes out of the oven. Don't worry, it will suck all of it up.

My own tart has just come out of the oven. I always sprinkle over a little cinnamon, before serving because the taste makes me nostalgic. Looks yummy, no? As I've mentioned before, serve with double thick or clotted cream in generous dabs. And gallons of good coffee.

You can prepare the tart up to a day in advance. Cover, refrigerate and reheat as necessary.

It is now 9:46. I suppose it is time to get going. Have to shower, shave and get ready. We have to be there at 11:00, and The One is still sleeping cosily.

Remember to comment if you have tried this recipe. I would love to hear if you also like it!

Mazel tov.

Written by I