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by Diana Henry
300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
150g butter, cold and diced, plus extra for greasing
100g caster sugar
¾ tsp baking powder
1 British Blacktail Free Range Large Egg, lightly beaten
3 tbsp rum
1 lemon, juice
1.2kg eating apples, about 8 (I used Pink Lady)
1½ tbsp light brown soft sugar
Icing sugar, for dusting
1. Put the flour, butter, caster sugar and a pinch of salt into a food processor. Whizz until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add the baking powder and egg, then whizz again until it comes together in a ball. You may need to add a little cold water to help it come together. Shape the pastry into a flat disc. Wrap and chill for 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, put the raisins in a very small saucepan and add the rum. Heat until you can see the liquid starting to boil. Take the pan off the heat and leave the raisins to plump up.
3. Put the lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Peel, quarter and core the apples, then cut into wedges about 4cm thick at the thickest part. Toss each piece in the lemon juice as it’s cut. Add 50ml water to the pan and set it over a medium-low heat. When the apples are starting to steam, turn the heat right down and cover the pan. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the apple slices are tender but still holding their shape. Lift out with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
4. Line the base of a 22cm springform cake tin (at least 5cm deep) with baking parchment and butter the sides. Cut the pastry in two pieces: two-thirds and one-third. Wrap the smaller piece up and put it back in the fridge. On a piece of baking parchment, use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the pastry out into a circle big enough to line the base and sides of the tin. Transfer it, with the help of the baking parchment, into the tin. Don’t worry if you get tears and cracks, just patch it up. Press the pastry up the sides and try to ensure that the pastry is the same thickness everywhere (it’s easy to make the sides too thick). Cut off the excess – don’t worry if you haven’t used all the pastry. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes (or the coldest part of the fridge for about 40 minutes). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6.
5. Fill the pastry case with crumpled baking parchment and baking beans (or dried pulses) and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans. Spoon the apples into the pie case, sprinkling over the brown sugar as you go and adding the raisins to the layers. Try to get all the apples in, then level the surface. Roll the remaining pastry out into a circle large enough to cover the top of the pie. Lay it on top, pinching it to attach it to the partially cooked pastry. Cut off the excess. Make four little cuts in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape.
6. Bake for another 35-40 minutes, until golden. Leave to cool in the tin. Once cool, run a knife between the edge of the pie and the inside of the tin, then undo the clasp and remove the sides. Slide the pie off the baking parchment and onto a serving plate.
7. To finish, either dust with icing sugar or make a simple lemon glaze. Stir 75g icing sugar with 2 tsp lemon juice until it’s smooth, spread it over the top of the pie (it’s fine if it runs down the sides) and leave it to set before serving. This is the kind of apple tart that is best served at room temperature, ideally the day after it’s made. It gives the apples a chance to ‘settle down’ in the pastry.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in Thu Mar 18 10:42:03 GMT 2021.