This recipe is inspired by the generously filled apple tarts and pies that, during the autumn months, hit the bars and restaurants of the Basque Country where the terrain is given over to orchards for cider making. Awareness of Spain’s crisply tangy sidra is relatively low in the UK but, like everything else related to fermentation and brewing, it’s catching on fast. I for one am a massive fan. Not only is it a beautiful drink, it’s delivery is fascinating because the golden liquid is poured from a great height – literally gulp by gulp – so that small air bubbles are formed as it hits the specially designed glasses. Take a couple of sips and the whole process starts again. The dryness of the slightly effervescent sidra against the sweetness of the tart is so pleasing but it would go well with any small batch artisan cider. I often serve this with orange blossom water-infused crème fraïche.
A knob of butter, for greasing
1 roll of good quality puff pastry
4 medium Bramley apples
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
6-8 tbsp unrefined granulated sugar
240mls of double cream
1 egg, beaten
You will also need a large fluted tart tin with a removable bottom.
How I make it
Heat an oven to 150C. Lightly butter the tart tin and line with pastry. Place in the fridge to cool.
Meanwhile, peel, core and slice the apples. Place them in a bowl and mix with the lemon juice.
Remove the tart tin from the fridge and line the base with the apple slices. Sprinkle with up to 4 tbsp (I use half that) of the sugar and place in the oven for around 10 minutes, just until the apples start to turn brown.
Remove from the oven and turn the temperature up to 180C.
Meanwhile, mix the cream, egg and 4 tbsp of the sugar to form a simple custard. Pour over the apples and, when the oven is up to temperature, place the tart back in and bake for between 30-45 minutes until the top becomes golden and caramelised (as shown in the image above).