This sweet apple tart is the perfect winter dish. Enjoy it piping hot, straight from the oven, with a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. The apples cook down nice and soft giving this tart it's delicious warming centre.
Filling This is only enough for 1 tart. If you want to make two tarts using all of your sweet pastry, just double the ingredients.
500g of pink lady apples
1 vanilla bean
3 pink lady apples
The first step is to make your pastry. As already noted, the pastry can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, and in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you're making this tart for a special occasion like a birthday or Christmas, you might want to make the pastry in advance to save you the hassle as your party draws nearer.
Chop your butter and then add to the mixing bowl of your stand mixer. Beat butter and sugar until the mixture mixture is smooth and creamy. You should notice that your mixture gets lighter as you beat it.
Add your eggs one at a time. Eggs should be at room temperature, if they are too cold or added to quickly it can cause the mixture to split. If this happens just keep mixing or add a small amount of your flour.
Sift in your flour and baking powder, then beat on a slow speed until just combined. It's important not to over beat your mixture as it will affect the outcome of your pastry.
Scrap together all of the pastry, then weigh your pastry and split it equally in half. Roll each half into a round mass--this will make it easier when you need to roll out your pastry--then cover with cling wrap. Pop in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
When your dough is ready, remove it from the fridge and place on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the mixture till it is around 3mm thick. It's important to lift and turn your dough so that it does not stick to your bench top. You can always add a little more flour if it is sticking.
Carefully lift your dough over your tart tin and use your fingers to gently press the mix into the tin. Don't panic if your pastry splits of tears, you can always fix up holes with a little extra pastry. It might not look as perfect, but it will do the trick. Place your tart shell in the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Peel and core the apples for your filling, then rub them with the half a lemon. Cut them into small cubes--try and keep them even.
Add the sugar and 1tsp of water into the saucepan, and then add the apples.
Cut your vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the pan, then add the rest of the vanilla bean.
Cover and keep on low heat for around 20 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally. Keep an eye on the mixture so that the apples don't burn--you may need to add a bit more water if it evaporates before they are ready. The apples should be soft and translucent, but you don't want them to completely break apart.
Add the cooked apples to a bowl and let them cool down.
Peel your remaining apples. Slice them in half and use a melon baller to remove the cores.
Thinly slice the apples so that you end up with rainbow shaped apple pieces about 2-3mm thick. Rub them with the other half of the lemon to stop them from going brown.
Remove your tart shell from the fridge and add the cooked apple mixture. Make sure it is spread flat and even.
Add the apple slices in a circular pattern; start from the outside and finish in the centre. It can be handy to have an extra apple on hand just in case you run out.
Bake in the oven for about 1 hour. If you notice the tart begins to brown too much on the top you can turn down the heat a little bit or cover the top of the tart with a sheet of baking paper.