A TASTE FROM THE COUNTRY
A very simple recipe that is pretty foolproof, comes from the Normandy countryside in France. Known for their butter, dairy and apple cider, they also produce some pretty amazing pastries.
One of the common things found in the bakeries is apple tarts. They have both large and mini ones available and are baked fresh every day. They look beautiful and easy to make so it is no wonder that they are so popular.
While visiting family there, I learned a very simple version of these apple tarts that can be made at home. I really like that whole, simple ingredients are used. For a dessert, there is very little processed sugar and the calorie count is also low.
The recipe starts with a thick paste created by combining 5 Tbsp of flour and 5 Tbsp of sugar with 5 Tbsp of milk. The ingredients don’t require exact measuring either. Simply take a large soup spoon and start scooping the ingredients into a large bowl. Once that is done, beat 2 eggs into the mixture and finally, do the same with about 25 g of melted butter. You will have a golden-looking batter and slightly runny consistency.
When preparing the apples, it will take almost 3 apples. They need to be peeled and quartered and sliced fairly thin so they cook through. The pieces should be bite-sized. Once they are prepared, toss them in the batter.
Pour the mixture into a greased, fluted dish. I use a 9″ quiche dish with a loose bottom because it looks nice when it is baked. If you use a deeper or larger dish, you will likely need to double the recipe. Use the 4th apple and what was left of the 3rd to create slices for decoration. Place them in a design of your choosing on the top.
Bake the tart at 350º for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently spread jam (I used raspberry) on the tart. It is important to put the jam on at this stage. If you put it on at the beginning, it will seep into the tart and turn brown which will affect the presentation. By allowing the apples to cook a bit, it will create a bit of a barrier so this does not happen. It will also stop the jam from caramelizing too much and it will keep the nice colour of the jam too.
Once the jam is spread on the tart, bake for another 50-60 minutes. Remove the dish and let the tart cool fully. It needs to be cool so the apples can settle as they will be soft. Remove from the dish and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or some whipping cream.
Normandy Apple Tart
4 apples (thins sliced, pieces) (save one and 1/2 for decorating the top)
5 Tbsp sugar (heaping)
5 Tbsp flour (heaping)
5 Tbsp milk (heaping)
25 g melted butter
2 Tbsp jam (of choice, heaping)
1. Peel and slice apples into thin, bite-sized slices.
2. Set apples aside.
2. Mix flour and sugar together.
3. Add milk and stir until it reaches a smooth consistency.
4. Beat eggs and add to mixture.
5, Stir in melted butter.
6. Stir apples into the batter mixture.
7. Pour apple-batter mixture into a springform tart dish.
8. Arrange a layer of nicely sliced apples on top as decoration.
8. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes.
9. Remove from over and carefully spread 2 large spoons of jam over tart.
10. Bake in the oven for another 50-60 minutes.
11. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan.
12. After about an hour, remove from the dish.
13. Serve cooled.