Tarte aux pommes à l’alsacienne

Great to be reminded of Laurence Faller’s classic apple tart à l’alsacienne, after a tasting in the kitchen (copper pans, wood-fired oven, big oak refectory table) at Domaine Weinbach in Kaysersberg earlier this week. Laurence uses big burnished Boskoop cooking apples that keep their shape after baking. You can use any good dessert apple (Cox’s make a wonderful tart) but avoid  English-type cooking apples, which will collapse in an undignified heap. Serve the tart tepid to bring out the full flavour of the sweetly creamy mixture and the sharp apples.

Serves 6

shortcrust pastry made with 200g flour, or 300g ready-made shortcrust pastry
5-6 well flavoured apples, peeled, quartered and finely sliced
2 eggs
2 Tbsp sugar
about 200ml whipping cream

  • Heat the oven to 200ºC
  • Roll out the pastry and arrange it in a 30 cm loose-bottomed quiche tin, pressing it into the corners with your knuckles
  • Run the rolling pin over the top to cut away any excess pastry, prick the bottom with a fork
  • Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles in the pastry, packing them in tightly
  • Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is cooked through and lightly golden (lift the base to see)
  • Mix together the eggs, sugar and cream and pour this custard over the apples
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 180oC and return the tart to the oven to bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the apples lightly caramelised
  • Serve tart at room temperature, accompanied, for absolute perfection, by a Pinot Gris Altenbourg Sélection de Grains Nobles from Domaine Weinbach. (Okay, we can dream…)

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