It’s about to start happening — that most gloriously seasonal of desserts. The tree in the paddock is so loaded down with Bramleys, the branches are bending halfway to the ground. Gotta do something about that while other work is going on.
The tart dough comes first. The basic recipe is Swiss: they do the best fruit tarts I know of. This makes enough for a 10-to-11 inch (25-28cm) flat tart pan / tin.
Basic Sweet Rich Pastry (Süsser Mürbeteig)
- 6 oz (175g) plain flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 oz (75g) butter, well chilled
- 3 oz (75g) caster sugar (that’s fine granulated sugar for US folk)
- 1 tsp grated lemon rind
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Sift the flour and sugar together into a large mixing bowl. Coat the butter with flour from the bowl to make it easier to handle, and grate it directly onto the flour, using the coarse blade of a cheese grater. As you grate the butter, mix the flakes together with the flour occasionally, using your fingertips, before grating more.
Add the sugar and lemon rind. Using two round-bladed knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
Mix the egg lightly with a fork and pour over the flour mixture. Using the fork, mix the egg into the flour mixture until well distributed. Then, using your hand, pull the dough gently together into a bal. Knead lightly and briefly on a floured board until the dough forms a cohesive mass. Pat into a flat round and wrap tightly in Saran wrap / plastic wrap / clingflim. Refrigerate for at least an hour before using.
If you’re doing this with a food processor (which is how I do it): Dump in the flour and salt first: pulse to aerate / sift. Add the sugar and lemon rind: pulse again. Add the butter, in pats / lumps of about a teaspoon each: pulse once or twice to get them covered with flour, then process briefly to the cornmeal texture. Add the egg. Pulse sparingly until the whole business forms a ball. Empty the container out onto a floured surface, knead briefly, pat the dough flat and wrap as above.
Apple-tart contents in the next posting…
[tags]apple pie, apple, tart, apple tart[/tags]