mardi 7 juillet 2009

The Queet of Tarts, the best apple tart recipe ever!


When girlfriends tell you that you are looking really well and healthy its really a euphemism for "I am so glad to see that you have put on weight" and I have been hearing a lot of that lately and blame it on too many business trips to London!

Before I even board the Eurostar in Paris I am thinking about one thing only, what cake to order with my milky tea in Peyton & Byrne in St. Pancreas station, will it be the almond and pear tart, the luxury carrot cake (which gives my mams a run for its money), the coffee & walnut cake or a deliciously decorated cupcake? This is not the place to go if you are dieting girls!

My french beau could not understand what all the fuss was about before I allowed him to share in my Eurostar ritual, surely everyone knows that the french have the best patisseries in the world. Why would you go all the way to london to eat cake!

This was a sentiment recently echoed by my brother's visit to Paris, as he began to eat his way through a fair few of the cakes Paris has on offer, turning down my fresh fruit salad in favor of an opera cake, on the basis that he can eat fruit salad any day at home!

However on the first taste of the pear and almond tart, the french beau was converted to english baking and I have heard him say to friends, when he thinks I am out of earshot, that the english make really good cakes! Now when I go on a business trip to London I am obliged to take sample of the deliciousness on offer at Peyton & Byrne across the channel with me. But with the economic crisis the business trips have dried up - but my beau's appetite for all things sweet has not!

Several attempts to recreate the tarts from Peyton and Byrne have been a little disappointing until now...this recipe is modified from Richard Corrigan's toffee apple & pecan tart in "The clatter of forks and spoons"

You will need one sweet tart base ( 25 cm) which you should bake blind in a generously buttered lose bottom tart case and egg wash immediately when taken out of oven to prevent the base from going soggy.

Filling : 4 tablespoons of "beurre carmel salé" 4 sharp flavored eating apples a little caster sugar
almond creme
: 100g butter 100g caster sugar 2 eggs 100g almonds 25g plain flour

crumble 125g butter 50g plain flour 175g of demerara sugar 100g ground almonds (of grilled ground almonds if you can find them) & a handful of pecan nuts
While the base is baking make the almond creme: cream together the butter and sugar until pale. Mix in the eggs a little at a time. Then mix in the flour and ground almonds. Leave aside Crumble: Put butter in a bowl and rub in the butter and then mix in the other ingredients. Leave aside. Filling: peel, core and quarter the apples and put them in saucepan sprinkle over some caster sugar and cook over high heat ,when they begin to caramelise add 4 table spoons of beurre caramel salé and turn off heat. To assemble tart: spread a layer of almond creme on the pastry base, followed by layer of the apple filling and topped with the crumble mixture. Bake in oven preheated to 180° for 30 minutes keeping an eye on it from time to time to ensure that the crumble does not burn. Serve with a lag dollop of creme fraiche or custard.

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