French apple tart
Serves 6-8 | prep 30 mins | total time
For the shortcrust pastry:
- 225g gluten-free plain flour (we used Doves Farm)
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 60g vegetable shortening
- 60g dairy-free margarine
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
For the apple filling:
- 900g Bramley apples
- 150g golden caster sugar
- 1 eating apple
- 1 tbsp apricot jam
- a large pinch of ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
Make up to a day ahead if serving cold, store in the fridge and remove 30 minutes before serving.
- Begin by making the apple purée. Peel and core the Bramley apples and chop into chunks roughly 2cm in size. Place in a saucepan with the caster sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. Partially cover with a lid and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then, until completely softened and stewed. Remove from the heat, leave to cool for about 5 minutes and then beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Tip the purée into a fine-mesh sieve, with a bowl underneath to catch the juice, and leave for about 20 minutes to drain and cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C fan 180°C, gas 6. Sift the flour and xanthan gum into the bowl of a food processor. Cut the vegetable shortening into cubes and add to the flour with the margarine and sugar, then pulse until the mixture is of a breadcrumb-like consistency. Alternatively, place the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and rub together with your fingertips. Add 2 tablespoons of cold water, pulsing as you go (or stirring with a flat-bladed knife, if making the pastry by hand), until the mixture begins to pull together to form a dough. You can then add an extra tablespoon of water if you think it needs it.
- Turn the pastry into a large mixing bowl (or keep in the same bowl, if making by hand) and, using your fingertips, pull together into a ball. Knead lightly for 2 minutes or until smooth and elastic to the touch. Shape the pastry into a ball and place between two large sheets of clingfilm. Gently roll it out into a circle slightly larger than a loose-bottomed 21cm tart tin – the pastry should be no thinner than 3mm. Peel off the uppermost sheet of clingfilm and carefully turn the pastry into the tin, peeling off the bottom layer of clingfilm.
- Gently fit the pastry into the tin, trimming the edges with a sharp knife and filling in any cracks or gaps with extra pastry, patted flat with your fingertips. Carefully tip the apple purée into the tart case and spread out evenly, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon.
- Peel and core the eating apple and finely slice into thin segments. Working quickly before the apple slices go brown, arrange them around the outer edge of the tart to form a decorative circle, each segment slightly overlapping the last one. Use 4-5 smaller slivers of apple to form a smaller fan in the centre of the tart and then bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the apples have browned slightly and the pastry is crisp. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool down a little. Heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan until melted and then brush over the top of the tart to finish. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
How to line a pastry case