This time I was determined to bake a proper whole tart. The last time I did so was a lemon tart. It tasted good but the appearance did not turn out ideal.
Preparing the tart crust was alot easier than I thought this time round. Things went smoothly, too smoothly I thought. Then, the not-so-smooth bug came into the picture. I had problems preparing the crumle topping. The recipe asked for softened butter and the crumble topping turned out to be an oily mess. I immediately knew there was something wrong with the recipe. I re-prepared the crumble topping, this time round using chilled butter. It do not turn out to be what I expected. Too much butter I thought, based on my intuition and experience.
After running a brief search for recipes online, I found out the the recipe I referred to used too much butter. In the end I had to re-prepare a third time and the consistency turned out ok. What a waste of butter!I did not feel so heart-pained for the wasted flour and sugar as butter is the most expensive ingredient here.
Apple tart recipes in bake books all seem to have something in common. Most of them require Granny Smith apples. I then found out that Granny Smith apples are green apples. And as most people would know, green apples have a tart flavour. For a moment, I thought the apples would still retain their tartness after baking.
On the contrary, the apple pie came out to be apple-sweet with a twist of tangy lemon and there was the subtle aroma of cinnamon circling around. I almost could not resist the moist juicy sultanas hidden among the apples. Looks like it was worth making this tart after-all ~
Lemony Apple Crumble Tart (recipe adapted from Tarts: Sweet and Savoury)
Equipment: 23cm tart tin
Sweet rich shortcrust pastry:
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
2 medium egg yolks
2 tbs iced water
2 tbs icing sugar
1 egg beaten for brushing base
1) Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl. Add the salt and use a whisk to distribute the ingredients uniformly.
2) Add in the chilled and diced butter into the bowl. Rub the flour mixture into the butter until it becomes like breadcrumbs. There will be some grains that will be larger than the rest. Leave it as that.
3) Next, mix the egg yolks and iced water and add to the flour butter mixture. Use a fork to mix and moisten the dough.
4) Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly using your hands to bring the dough together. Once the dough comes together, form it into a ball and wrap it up with clingfilm. Do not work the dough too long. It will become rock hard upon baking.
5) Chill the dough for 30 mins before using.
6) While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling.
7) When tart is chilled, bring it to a lightly floured surface and roll the dough out to a circle slightly bigger than the tart tin. (Remember to take into account the side of the tart tin as well). Wrap the dough around the roller and transfer the dough to the tin. Unroll the dough and press the dough into place. Use a knife to cut off excess dough from the sides of the tin.
8) Prick the base with a fork all over. Chill the tart for 15 minutes.
9) Preheat oven to 190 degrees C
10) Cut out a piece of foil or baking paper larger than the tart tin. Line the top of the dough with the paper or foil. Fill the tin with baking beans. (Use rice or barley or other dry beans if you do not not have baking beans)
11) Bake the tart for 10minutes. Remove the beans and bake the tart for a further 5 minutes. Let the beans cool. Store and reuse the beans.
12) Brush the base with the beaten egg to cover the fork holes. Put the tart into the oven and bake for 5mins until the base is dry. If necessary, repeat this step.
6 Granny Smith apples (or 6 green apples)
fine zest of 1 lemon (wash lemon thoroughly before zesting)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
55g brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon (more if desired)
1 tbs plain flour mixed with 1 tbs castor sugar
Crumble topping :
75g plain flour
75g castor sugar
40g butter, chilled and diced
fine zest of 1 lemon
1) Peel and core the apples. Cut the apples into small chunks. I cut the apples into quarters, then half each quarter length-wise. Next, I cut the 2 length-wise pieces into 6 chunks. One apple would give 24 chunks.
2) Place the apples into a big bowl and add the sultanas, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon and brown sugar. Mix them together.
3) Scatter the mixed flour sugar mixture onto the baked tart base. Place the apple chunks on top of the tart. There is more than enough apples to form a layer. Discard the liquid left behind.
4) Prepare the crumble topping. Mix the flour, sugar and lemon into a bowl. Rub the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Scatter the crumble topping over the apples evenly.
5) Bake the assembled tart at 190 degrees C for 15 minutes then lower temperature to 180 degrees C and bake for another 30 minutes. Tart taste best when served warm.