Apple Tart ‘Maman Blanc’

Inviting apple tart 'Maman Blanc' from Raymond Blanc's 100 Recipes for Entertaining. A simple and traditional French dish, inspired by his mother's recipe.

My Kitchen Table: 100 Recipes for Entertaining
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Introduction

‘Maman Blanc’ loves simplicity, and this tart is easy to prepare as the pastry case does not need to be pre-baked.

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the pastry:
250g (9oz) plain flour
120g (4½oz) butter, diced, at room temperature
1 egg
Sea salt
For the filling:
1 tbsp melted butter
½ tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp caster sugar
½ tbsp Calvados (optional) mixed together
3 apples (such as Cox, Worcester, Russet or Braeburn), peeled, cored and cut into 10 segments
Icing sugar, for dusting

Essential kit

You will need a tart tin 18cm (7in) in diameter, 2cm (¾in) deep, with removable base.

Instructions

In a large bowl and using your fingertips, rub together the flour, butter and a pinch of salt until it reaches a sandy texture. Make a well in the centre and add the egg. Work the egg into the mixture, then press together to form a ball. Line a work surface with clingfilm and knead the dough with the palms of your hands for 30 seconds, until you have a homogeneous consistency: Do not overwork the dough or the pastry will lose some of its flakiness. Take off about 25g (1oz) of dough, wrap it in clingfilm and store for later. Wrap the remaining dough in clingfilm and flatten it slightly to 2cm (¾in) thickness, then leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Line a work surface with clingfilm. Take the pastry dough from the fridge, unwrap it and place it on a piece of clingfilm about 30 x 30cm (12 x 12in). Cover it with another layer of clingfilm and roll the dough out to 3mm (⅛in) thick. Line a 18cm diameter (2cm deep, with removable base) tart tin with the dough. Then unwrap the piece of spare dough and press this into the corner between the base and side of the tin to ensure the pastry is neatly compressed and moulded to the shape of the tin. Trim the edges of the tart. Raise the height of the dough 3mm (⅛in) above the tart tin by pressing and pinching the pastry gently all round the edge of the tin using your index finger and thumb. Prick the bottom of the tart, then rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Mix together all the ingredients for the filling except the apples and icing sugar. Lay the apple segments, closely together, in the base of the pastry case. Brush with the melted butter, sugar and lemon juice mixture, and dust liberally with icing sugar. Slide the tart into the oven, onto the preheated baking sheet, and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and cook for a further 20 minutes, until the pastry becomes a light golden colour and the apples have caramelised. Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool for a minimum of 1 hour before serving.

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