The wind has been howling this week, getting as many leaves as possible off the trees and wreaking havoc with the existing leaf piles waiting for pickup. It’s nearly Guinness cold where our old pup starts getting a pep in his step on the way back from our walks. A salve against the cold is baking. As we still have apples to use up I thought it would be fun to make a decadent Apple Tart with Crème Pâtissière and Toffee Sauce. If you are going to go the guilty pleasure route, you might as well go all the way!
Technique for the Apple Tart:
There are a few steps to this dessert but it’s worth it.
I used the basic recipe from “Baking with Mary Berry” with the addition of a pinch of salt. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
Use a pastry fork or your fingers to blend the butter into the flour and salt. Try to keep your fingers on the cool side if you use your hands.
Once the mixture becomes like fine bread crumbs and they stick together when gently pressed. Gradually add a bit of water, using your fingers to incorporate the water into the mixture. Be careful not to overwork the dough. When it comes together turn it out onto a floured countertop.
Roll out thinly and place into a 9″/23cm tart pan. Allow the pastry to be higher than the tart pan as the pastry will shrink during the blind bake. Lightly prick the base of the pastry.
Line with tin foil and fill with dried beans or baking beads.
Bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the tin foil and beads. Trim the pastry edges to the height of the tart pan. Pop back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes until golden and flaky. Set aside.
Prepare the crème pâtissière as I did in this Merinque Nests recipe and let cool a bit.
Peel the apples and slice them thinly. Melt the butter and begin to sauté the apples. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook until the apples have softened but still hold their shape.
Make the Toffee Sauce but half the recipe as you don’t need too much for the tart.
Putting it together:
Spoon the crème pâtissière into the pastry. Top with the apple mixture then drizzle the toffee sauce over the apples.
Remove the tart ring, slice and serve!
Decadence is served. 🙂
Apple Tart with Crème Pâtissière and Toffee Sauce
A decadent dessert to use up all those apples from apple picking.
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 6 tbsp chilled butter
- pinch salt
- 3-5 tbsp cold water
Crème Pâtissière filling
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 cups boiling milk (don't scald!)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 apples
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp brandy
- 1 1/2 tbsp heavy/double cream
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. In a mixing bowl add the flour and salt. Mix then add the chilled butter. Using your fingers or a pastry fork work the butter into the flour. Work it until the mixture is like fine bread crumbs. Then gradually add the water a bit a time while incorporating it into the pastry. Don't add it all at once! You might not need all the water. Stop once the pastry becomes a ball.
Turn out the pastry on a floured surface. Roll out thinly then place into a tart pan 9in/23cm. Gently press the dough into the fluted sides. Allow the dough to be higher than the sides as it will shrink while baking Prick the bottom with a fork. Line with tin foil and fill with dried beans or baking beads.
Bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the beads and tin foil. Trim the sides to the height of the tart pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes more until golden and flaky. Set aside.
Crème Pâtissière filling
Add the egg yolks to a mixer with a whisk. Beat on medium. Gradually add the sugar. The colour will change to a pale yellow. Once the sugar is incorporated, beat for another 2-3 minutes and it forms "the ribbon". Don't go past this point as the sugar will re-granulate.
Boil the milk. While this is coming to a boil add the flour to the egg mixture. Then gradually add the milk while beating on medium speed.
Add the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Keep whisking through this step! It will thicken up quite a bit but then it will smooth out. Once this happens cook for 2-3 minutes to cook the flour.
Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla. Stir well and set aside to cool.
Peel and thinly slice the apples. Melt the butter and sauté the apples in the butter. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Cook the apples until they start to soften. Remove from the heat.
In a saucepan melt the butter. Add the remaining ingredients and heat thoroughly until the sugar is incorporated.
Putting it together
Spread the crème pâtissière into the tart, top with the apples. Drizzle the toffee sauce over the tart.