Saturday, August 9, 2008

Toffee apple tart

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe.

1 vanilla pod

4 1/2 ounces butter

3 3/4 ounces powdered sugar

9 ounces flour

zest of 1/2 a lemon

2 egg yolks

2 tbl cold milk

2 tins of sweetened condensed milk or already prepared dulce de leche

4 apples

2 heaped tbl powdered sugar (to mix with apples)

Put the unopened tins of sweetened condensed milk in a high-sided pan, covered with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer constantly for about 3 hours with a lid on top. It is very important to remember to keep checking the pan, as you don't want it to boil dry - otherwise the tins will explode. This will give you the most amazing toffee (or dulce de leche). Set the tins aside and allow them to cool.

For the pastry: Score down the length of the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Cream together the butter, sugar and salt and then rub in the flour, vanilla seeds, lemon zest and egg yolks - you can do this by hand or in a food processor. When the mixture look likes coarse breadcrumbs, add the cold milk. Pat and gently work the mixture together until you have a ball of dough, then flour it lightly and roll it into a sausage shape, being careful not to overwork the dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour. Remove it from the fridge and cut the dough into slices, using the slices to line an 11 inch tart pan. Trim off any excess dough and place tart pan in the freezer for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Take the pastry out of the freezer and blind bake it for 15 minutes. Peel and core the apples and slice very thinly. Toss the apples with the sugar. Remove the pastry from the oven and smear the toffee over it. Place the apples on top. Cook at the bottom of the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, to give you a crispy base and bubbling toffee over the apples. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

This tart is fantastic but I did not follow the recipe exactly. I did make the toffee per Jamie's instructions but I used my own pie crust recipe - one that does not have any eggs. I also used only one can of the sweetened milk and added more apples. I mixed the apples with sugar and cinnamon. The circles on top of the pie are leftover bits of pie dough - I hate to waste. I also sprinkled some decorating sugar on top of the pie before baking.

This is a fabulous special occasion dessert!

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