Did you know I love creating puddings? That might not come as a surprise to anyone that has even seen our range of ‘Vicky’s Cakes’, or indeed come over for dinner!
So last weekend I tried a new one, Apple and Caramel Tart. I find the best creations come when I make it up as I go along, so that’s what I did! I’m not a big fan of things that are too sickly sweet so if a dish has a very sweet part, I try to compliment it with a not so sweet part! The salted caramel brownies that I make have a very sweet caramel so I make the brownie rich, nutty and dark, but not very sweet at all. So I thought I’d use the caramel that I use for the brownie (minus the salt) in the apple tart, and focus on making the rest of the tart quite, well erm…tart! So I used savoury short crust pastry and a sharp apple filling, to be complimented by all that gooey and sweet caramel and buttery pecans.
For the pastry:
125g butter, softened
250g plain flour (plus a little extra for rolling out)
Drop of cold water
For the caramel:
75g caster sugar
1.5-2 tbsp water
100ml double cream
1 tbsp golden syrup
You will also need:
2 medium-large bramley apples
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1.5 tsp cinnamon, ground
Pecan halves (as many as you like)
A large pie dish
How to make it tasty:
1. Pre heat your oven to 180oC. Begin with the pastry. In a large bowl rub the butter into the flour with your finger tips until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add a drop is water and mix to combine. Keep adding a drop of water more until it sticks into a ball, but isn’t too wet and sticky. Knead briefly, until well incorporated, on a floured surface and then roll out evenly until just a little larger than the size of the pie dish. Press into the bottom, and up the sides and then trip around the top leaving it a little longer than the tin, and press edges into a nice pattern with your fingertips. Line with baking paper and fill with baking beans/rice to press the bottom down and blind bake for 10 minutes.
2. Prepare the apples while the pastry blind bakes. Peel the apples and cut into slices. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and tip over the apple slices. Give it a shake so the apple is evenly coated. Once the pastry case come out of the oven, remove the baking paper and rice/ beans and arrange the apple slices in a nice pattern inside the case. Return to the oven for approx 20-25 minutes.
3. Whilst it all bakes, make the caramel. Put the sugar and water into a large pan over a high heat. There’s a big ‘to stir or not to stir’ debate but I rightly or wrongly give it a stir. When it turns an amber colour, add the cream, butter and golden syrup and return to the heat. Stir until smooth and combined and then reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes until it’s thickened slightly.
4. When the pie comes out of the oven after the 20-25 minutes, sprinkle pecans (as many as you like) over the top, and then spoon all the caramel over the top, making sure it’s all nicely coated on top. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes to finish off.
5. Leave to cool in the tin slightly, the caramel will thicken as it cools. Ideal temperature to serve this at (for me) is just warm, but not hot. So get it out of the oven when dinner is ready so that it’s the perfect temperature for when it’s pudding time! I served it with a drizzle of cream.
Do let me know if you try this recipe and what you think!