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Apple Tart: Torta di Mele

by Russell Norman from Brutto

This authentic Italian apple tart recipe from London-based restaurant BRUTTO is a celebration of simple flavours of apple, butter and caramel and is much lighter than standard pastry-based tarts.

Introduction

Our apple tart sometimes surprises people because it doesn’t use pastry. Instead, the lining of butter and caramelised apples creates a subtle crust with a dark, golden brown colour. Without pastry, the apples are left to their own devices to create all the flavour, leaving a decidedly fruity tart.

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Ingredients

4 apples, any sweet, crisp variety
2 large free-range eggs
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
70g plain flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
65ml milk
100g butter, very soft, plus a small knob for lining
1 tbsp icing sugar, for dusting

Essential kit

You will need: a cake tin.

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Method

Butter a cake tin and line it with greaseproof paper. Peel and core the apples, halve and slice thinly. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract into a large bowl and whisk until doubled in size. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and combine together. While still whisking, pour in the milk and add the softened butter until smooth and consistent.

Put the sliced apples into the mix and carefully coat them all thoroughly. Layer the apples flat in circles, starting from the edge and working inwards. Pour a thin layer of the remaining mixture on top.

Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 180°C for 40 minutes. Remove the golden brown tart and allow to cool in the tin for at least 30 minutes before transferring to a large serving plate. Dust the top with the icing sugar, shaken through a small sieve from a height.

Serve at room temperature in slices, perhaps with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but it’s also delicious on its own, with coffee or even for breakfast.

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