Rick Stein's apple tarts recipe
by Rick Stein | 0 comments | Print recipeTweet
As far as I can remember, I had one of these little apple tarts in Tudella while waiting for Floren to take me off to his huerta to cook menestra next to his artichokes. The thing that really interested me about it was the pastry cream, which seemed to have a slightly cheesy flavour to it. I came back and described it to Debbie, who is the queen of all desserts. She suggested beating some cream cheese into a simple crème patissiere and poaching slices of apple in apple juice flavoured with cloves and nutmeg for the top.
At a glance
- Cuisine Spanish
- Recipe Type Dessert
- Difficulty Medium
- Preparation time 30 mins
- Cooking time 20 mins
- Serves 8 people
- 75 g (2.6oz) White chocolate
- 400 ml (14.1fl oz) Pressed apple juice
- 3 tbsp Caster sugar
- 2 Cloves
- 0.25 tsp Freshly ground nutmeg
- 4 Small dessert apples, such as Cox's
- 75 g (2.6oz) Light soft brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Single cream
- 15 g (0.5oz) Butter
- 1 Pinch of salt
- 2 Large, free-range egg yolks
- 0.5 Lemon, finely grated zest
- 60 g (2.1oz) Caster sugar
- 20 g (0.7oz) Plain flour
- 20 g (0.7oz) Corn flour
- 300 ml (10.6fl oz) Full cream milk
- 100 g (3.5oz) Full-fat cream cheese
- 175 g (6.2oz) Plain flour
- 1 Pinch of salt
- 50 g (1.8oz) Icing sugar
- 100 g (3.5oz) Chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 Large egg yolk
- 1.5 tsp Cold water
- This recipe makes 8 tartlets. In addition to the cooking time there is chilling and setting time required.
- To make a quantity of sweet pastry; sift the flour, salt and icing sugar into a food processor or a bowl, add the pieces of butter and work together briefly, either in the food processor or with your fingertips, until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Tip the mixture into a bowl and stir in the egg yolk and enough water until the mixture starts to come together into a ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Briefly re-knead the pastry, then cut into 8 pieces. Roll each piece out on a lightly floured work surface to a 3mm thickness and use to line eight lightly buttered, 8cm loose-bottomed tartlet tins. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Prick the bases with a fork and line with squares of crumpled greaseproof paper and a thin layer of baking beans. Bake the tartlet cases for 10 minutes or until the edges are biscuit-coloured. Carefully remove the paper and beans and return the tartlets to the oven for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, break the white chocolate into a small heatproof bowl. Bring 3cm of water to the boil in a small pan, remove from the heat and rest the bowl of chocolate on top. When it has melted, brush a very thin layer of chocolate over the inside of each tartlet case. Leave to cool and set.
- Put the apple juice, sugar, cloves and nutmeg into a wide shallow pan and simmer until reduced by half. Quarter, core and peel the apples, thinly slice them into the syrup and simmer for 1 minute. Leave to cool in the syrup.
- For the cheesy pastry cream, mix the egg yolks, lemon zest, sugar, plain flour, cornflour and 2 tablespoons of the milk together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Bring the rest of the milk to the boil in a non-stick pan. Gradually beat into the egg yolk mixture, return the mixture to the pan and stir over a medium heat, until smooth and thick. Simmer gently for 2 minutes, stirring, then spoon into a bowl and press a sheet of cling film onto the surface to prevent it from forming a skin. Cool, then chill until needed.
- To assemble the tarts, put the cream cheese into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric hand-held whisk for a minute or two until smooth and light. Gradually beat in the chilled pastry cream. Spoon the mixture into the tartlet cases and lightly level the tops. Lift the apple slices out of the syrup and arrange them, slightly overlapping, over the top of the pastry cream.
- For the butterscotch glaze, put all the ingredients into a small pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Brush the mixture over the top of the apples and leave to cool, then serve.
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Book: Rick Stein's Spain published by BBC Books
Photographs copyright James Murphy