Back to work this morning after the long Easter weekend. With the clocks going forward as well, getting up was a bit of a shock to the system. I was a ‘nodding dog’ on the train this morning – my head lolling forward, trying my best to keep my eyes open as the train trundled into London. Now sitting at my desk, with a strong coffee, I know today is going to be a struggle.
This tart was delicious – I made it for Easter Sunday and it went down a treat. It was a bit of an effort to make the apple roses, but now I know how to do it, I don’t think it will be so difficult next time – the trick is to make sure your apple slices are bendy and soft enough so they don’t break when you roll them up. Plus, make sure they’re dry when you put them on the marzipan or it becomes really difficult to work with. If you don’t want to go to the effort of decorating the tart, you could always just layer the apples on top of the filling in a spiral – it would look just as pretty.
Apple Rose Tart
For the pastry
- 100g butter
- 200g plain flour
- 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 1 egg, separated
- splash of vanilla extract
- 2-3 tsp cold water
For the filling
- 3 red apples, cored, halved and thinly sliced
- juice ½ lemon
- 100g marzipan
- 100g butter, melted
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 140g ground almond
- 75g plain flour
- 1 tbsp milk
- 4 tbsp apricot jam
- icing sugar, for dusting
Rub the butter and flour together in a large bowl using your fingertips. Work through the mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, egg yolk (reserve the white), vanilla extract and 2-3 tsp cold water to form a ball of dough that leaves the bowl clean. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins.
Meanwhile, put the apple slices in a large bowl. Squeeze over the lemon juice and cover with water. Microwave on High for 4 mins, then drain and pat dry on some kitchen paper. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Note: Make sure your apple slices are bendy, and if not, put them back in for a bit longer.
Roll out the pastry to fit the tin (either 23cm round or square loose bottom tart tin) and trim the edges with scissors so they stand up, about 5mm above the edge. Prick the surface of the pastry a few times with a fork. Note: Allow the pastry to rest in the fridge for about 30 mins – I didn’t as recipe didn’t call for it, and I think that’s why my pastry shrank away from the edges of the tin when baking. Place a layer of foil on top, add some baking beans and blind-bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and foil, brush the pastry with the reserved egg white and return to the oven for 10-15 mins until biscuit.
Roll out 75g of the marzipan out on a surface dusted with a little icing sugar until it’s approx 20 x 15cm. Cut into three rectangles and lay eight apple slices down the long edge of each strip of marzipan (there is a step-by-step guide on the BBC Good Food website) and reserve the rest. Fold the bare edge of each strip over to cover the apples, then roll up from the short edge. Place the apple roses in eggcups or a muffin tin so that they hold their shape. Roll the remaining marzipan into small balls.
Mix the butter, sugar, eggs, almonds, flour and milk together in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Take the tart case out of the oven and spread with the filling. Gently press your apple-marzipan roses into the filling, evenly spaced out, then scatter over the balls of marzipan. Fill the gaps with the remaining apple slices so that the filling is covered, curving the slices a little as you go to create additional petals on the roses, or rolling them up tightly to look like rosebuds, all with the peel-side facing upwards.
Return to the oven for 30-35 mins, then leave the tart to cool in the tin for 10 mins. Meanwhile, heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan until simmering, then pass it through a metal sieve into a bowl. Brush it over the surface of the tart while both the jam and the tart are still warm.
Serve the tart a little warm, or leave to cool, then turn it out onto a serving plate and dust with icing sugar. Great with vanilla ice cream or thick double cream.
Did you know?
- Marzipan is one the oldest sources of sweet pleasure, dating back to at least the 11th century. The origins are a bit fuzzy, but can be linked to either Persia or Spain. It contains ground almonds and sugar or honey, plus egg white or whole eggs to bind it together.
- My Mother makes the best Simnel cake!