Featuring our Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Rectangular 33cm Roaster
There’s something magical about apples and lemon. When combined they create the most extraordinary, eloquent floral note. It’s hard to describe but it’s something I always love. I like to add some fresh thyme leaves to this tart because its savoury, green aroma complements apples and works so well in a sweet context. This tart is sensational served warm from the oven with double cream but can be equally delicious for breakfast the next morning with a nice hot cup of coffee.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
1 large Bramley apple (about 400g), peeled, cored and diced
1 lemon, juice and ½ the zest
2 teaspoons tender thyme leaves
100g golden caster sugar
4-6 dessert apples (depending on size), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
For the rough-puff pastry
150g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Good pinch of salt
About 100ml iced water
For the frangipane
75g unsalted butter, softened
75g golden caster sugar
A pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
75g of ground almonds
- First, make the pastry. In a bowl, combine the butter cubes with the flour and salt. Then add just enough iced water to bring everything together into a dough full of big pieces of butter.
- On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough in one direction away from you to make a rectangle about 1cm thick. Fold the two short ends into the middle so they overlap. Give the pastry a quarter-turn and repeat the rolling and folding process three more times.
- Wrap the pastry in cling film, then rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Remove the pastry from the fridge and repeat the folding process a further three times. Wrap the pastry again and place it in the fridge to chill.
- Then, put the Bramley apple dice in a pan with the lemon zest, half the thyme leaves and 75g of the sugar. Add 1 tablespoon of water and cook, covered, over a low heat. Stir regularly until the apple pieces have dissolved and you have a thick, slightly translucent purée – this should take about 25-30 minutes. Spoon into a bowl, cool, then place in the fridge to chill.
- For the frangipane, cream together the butter, caster sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and ground almonds and mix until combined. Set aside.
- Heat the oven to 190°C/ 170°C Fan/ Gas Mark 5. Roll out the pastry on a well-floured surface about 4-5mm thick. Using your Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick 26cm Square Roaster as a guide, line the roaster with the pastry and trim to fit. Use a dull knife to score a 2cm margin around the base of the 4 sides of the pastry but don’t cut all the way through.
- Spread the frangipane mixture out over the pastry, taking it up to the margins if you can.
- Now spread the chilled apple purée evenly over the top of the frangipane, again, almost to the edges.
- Arrange the dessert apple slices over the purée in overlapping lines, running back and forth, until you have used them all up.
- Bake the tart for 30-40 minutes, or until the pastry is risen and crisp and the apples are soft and golden.
- Sprinkle over the remaining thyme leaves then allow the tart to cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.
- The Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick 26cm Square Roaster is the ideal dish for baking this sweet “appley” pastry. Thanks to its brilliant non-stick qualities, you’ll get a perfectly crisp base and a tart that’s easy as pie to slice and serve.
- My recipe for rough-puff pastry is very simple and much quicker than making a traditional puff. That said, if you want a good pud and you’re in a hurry, shop-bought puff pastry will work just as well too.
- There’s no reason not to swap the apple slices for slices of ripe pear or even plum halves – they’ll both go well with the frangipane and the Bramley apple sauce.