• Lara Flanagan

Apple Cream Tart

Archie and Rissie are with their dad for the first time since lock down and as much as I was not looking forward to it, they were so excited that their happiness was completely infectious. I have had the loveliest weekend pottering, ignoring the resentful glances of two sad puppies who were missing the kids, binge watching Homeland, catching up on some work and pottering in the kitchen.

I wanted to step up my apple tart and make a slightly more decadent version. This creamy layer added a whole new dimension to it. I must admit I think I have perfected this pastry and it is now my favourite pastry I have ever eaten! It is melt in your mouth good. The apple and cream filling combined to create a super scrummy afternoon treat. I am sure that Archie and Rissie will be very happy with a fridge full of lunch-box treats.

Apple Cream Tart

Olive Oil Pastry

The key to this pastry is to keep everything cold. When cold, the pastry is easy to work with. You can even make it the day before if you are organised enough and let it chill in the fridge overnight.

About an hour before beginning the recipe, pour the olive oil into a container and place it in the freezer. Freeze until solidified.

I use a food processor when making the pastry. I find it is fast and easy, and it keeps everything cool.

2 ½ cup plain flour

2 tablespoon caster sugar

2/3 cup olive oil – partially frozen, see above

4 – 8 tablespoon iced water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

In your food processor, place the flour and the chilled olive oil and then process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix 4 tablespoons of the water with apple cider vinegar. Pour into the processor while it is processing and then add additional water until mixture forms a ball. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

After 30 minutes, pre-heat the fan-forced oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Roll out the pastry and use it to line a 10-inch loose-bottomed fluted tart tray. Once the shell is lined with the pastry, prick the bottom with a fork, cover with baking paper and pie weights and blind bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool but leave in the tart tray.

Apple layer:

6 granny smith apples.

¼ cup of cinnamon sugar – made by mixing ¼ cup of caster sugar with a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

Peel, core, half and thinly slice apples

Layer around tart shell and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over apples.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes in a medium oven until apples are soft and golden.

Cream filling:

1 ½ cups raw cashews – soaked for at least 4 hours

½ cup almond milk

½ cup water

¾ teaspoon agar agar powder

2 tablespoon maple syrup

2 tablespoon light brown sugar

Blend drained cashews, almond milk, maple syrup and brown sugar until ultra-smooth. Do not rush this part as it is better to blend for longer to ensure there is no granulation from the cashew nuts.

Combine water and the agar agar powder in a small saucepan, whisk and bring to boil. Immediately reduce heat and cook for two minutes on a low heat and continue whisking for the duration. (Make sure you cook this for two minutes as the cooking time is part of the thickening process.)

Add the agar-agar water to the cream mixture and blend until well combined and ultra-smooth.

Pour mixture over the tart base and leave in the fridge until set.

When serving you can sprinkle with extra cinnamon sugar if you wish.

NB. Agar agar powder is a vegan gelatin substitute made from seaweed. You can source it from your local health food store.

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