You almost feel guilty when you ask a mother of ten children to pass on a beloved recipe. However, in the 2-3 free minutes she has each day she willingly passed on this great family recipe.
It is a seriously delicious apple creation! Please note this recipe below makes double the amount of pastry needed for one appeltaart, but busy Ria says place the other half in plastic wrap and freeze for future use. Or you can refrigerate for up to a week. When testing this tart we used 8 apples rather than ten and for the first time cooking this is the best – also do not worry of the pastry you make is too soft to roll – pushing the softer dough into the cake pan works just as well and when testing instead of making a lattice we just scattered some of the dough in little pieces on top. Using the lower rung in the oven very important to make sure this very dense tart gets the base cooked well.
8-10 Granny Smith apples
1 cup sultanas
4 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp cinnamon
4 cups flour
200g brown sugar
400g cold butter
1 beaten egg
2 x 8 g sachet of vanilla sugar
or 1 tsp vanilla essence
1 whole lemon, zested
35g (1/2 a packet) slithered almonds
1/3 cup apricot jam
Peel, core and cube the apples and place in a pot with about ½ cup water, brown sugar and cinnamon and sultanas cook slowly, stirring occasionally – the secret is low heat and allow 15-20 mins till the apple is ¼ cooked. It is very important to slow cook and as you want the apples still firm.
Drain it well and leave to cool.
Using a food processor pulse the flour and sugar adding the butter, it will be crumbly then add egg, vanilla and lemon. When it just forms a ball – wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 30 mins (this is optional stage) Ria says you can go straight to the next stage.
Remember to place ½ of the pastry in a plastic wrap for later use.
Roll out other half of the pastry to required shape on well-floured surface.
Keep 1/5 of the mix for the tart topping.
You have two options either using a pastry cutter or a glass cut out shapes to place in pre-oiled tart tins or roll out on one piece a large piece of pastry that will fill (bottom and sides) a 23cm loose bottomed cake pan.
Baking paper in the base helps transferring it post-baking and make sure you place the pastry in the bottom and up the oiled sides of the cake tin and using a clean hand to push it into shape. Ria uses a rolling pin over top of the pastry filled cake tin to clean cut it away.
Place apple filling into the pastry and with the 1/5 remaining pastry cut strips to criss-cross the top and place in a low rung in your oven and bake 180degC for 55 minutes or until nicely browned on top.
Ria says a good tip is to make this ahead and leave in fridge overnight to make the final baking the next day.
In the last ten minutes of cooking the cake – heat the apricot jam with 1 tablespoon water in a pot on the stove for a glaze for the cake after it comes out of the oven. Brush well with the apricot jam and sprinkle the almonds over the cake and serve with whipped cream.
A nice addition is to serve the warm cake with a mix of whipped cream and natural yoghurt combined together.
If you want to freeze it cool and wrap in plastic wrap and keeps for several months in the freezer.