Hot Apple Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream
When I was living and working in France I fell in love with chausson aux pommes (puff pastry filled with a buttery apple compote with hints of vanilla), which was eaten at breakfast. This, and the classic apple tarts I would admire in French pastry shops, combine to make this inspired apple tart using the king of English apples, Cox's.
- 250g puff pastry
- 8 Cox's apples
- 2 vanilla pods
- 250g unsalted butter
- 4tbsp caster sugar
- Vanilla Ice Cream or Clotted Cream
- For the Apple Compote:
- 400g Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 50g caster sugar
- 1/2 Vanilla Pod
Planning ahead:For this recipe you will need to make the apple compote in advance. It can be made during the day and kept in the fridge until needed.
Make sure your puff pastry is rolled out in advance of making the apple tarts, so that it can rest in the fridge, making it easier to work with.
The tarts can also be made and baked in advance, then reheated in the oven or even eaten cold!
To make the compote: start to melt the butter in a stainless steel saucepan. Add the apples, sugar and vanilla pod. Cook the apple to a compote consistency, stirring from time to time, for approximately 30 minutes over a moderate heat. If the texture is too runny, then continue cooking to reduce a thickish texture.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6, then roll out your puff pastry. Be careful when doing this, as it has a high fat content that makes it difficult to work with if it is too warm. I recommend that if you buy frozen pastry, defrost it overnight in the fridge before using. Roll out the puff pastry approximately 3mm thick, then, using a 12cm cutter or by cutting around a plate, cut out 4 circles. Place directly on to the baking tray and leave to rest for10 minutes in the fridge.
Using a peeler, peel the apples and cut them in half from top to bottom. Remove the cores, then slice the apples thinly.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and prick the surface using a fork. Place some apple compote in the middle, then fan the apples around the tart base, finishing with some slices in the middle of the tart. Do this evenly, as it helps with the cooking time.
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and mix them with 150g of softened unsalted butter. Using a pastry brush, brush with vanilla butter over the tarts and then sprinkle lightly with sugar.
Place in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove, brush with the vanilla butter again and put back into the oven for a further 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush again with the vanilla butter and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream or clotted cream.