The flavour of buttery puff pastry, rich almonds and sharp apples is sublime and they combine to give a fabulously simple, speedy tart.
Updated: May 2020 (new photos)
This tart takes minutes to assemble (the only chore is slicing the apples!) and can be varied in so many ways. It also works particularly well with pears and rhubarb.
Keep it simple or vamp it up!
This tart can be as simple as you like: strip it down to just pastry, apples and the glaze and you have a wonderful tart.
However, you can add whatever you want depending on what you have. Some of my favourite combinations include:
- mincemeat spread over the pastry before being topped with apples
- almond paste spread over the pastry
- both marizpan and mincemeat spread over the pastry
- cream cheese mixed with a little sugar in place of the almond paste/mincemeat
The photos in this post are of different batches of this tart.
When using mincemeat, it makes what I think is an excellent alternative to Christmas pudding – especially when served with cream, perhaps with a generous splash of alcohol of choice mixed in!
But whether you use mincemeat or not, served with cream, ice cream or custard at any time of the year and you have a very tasty dessert.
You can use the larger Bramley apples or go for smaller eating apples: I love using Royal Gala apples. Whichever variety you use, keep the peel on so they keep their shape – as well as making the tart look nicer.
The apples can be scattered over randomly or placed carefully in 2-3 rows down the length of the pastry.
When the tart comes out of the oven, brushing over any of lemon curd, marmalade, apricot jam will give a great, instant glaze – adding a gorgeous sheen to the tart as well as extra flavour.
A short YouTube video of me making the tart
My YouTube video for making this as a festive tart is here.
My instant almond paste base
While I sometimes use marzipan rolled out roughly and placed on the pastry before adding the apples, I usually make an instant almond paste. This is simply:
- about 100g almonds (ground or finely crushed – or use any nuts to be honest)
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar (or any sugar to be honest)
- 2 egg whites
These ingredients just get mixed together in a bowl to a rough paste.
If you have any almond extract, a teaspoon of it will dial up the almondy flavour a notch! If you don’t want to use egg whites, you can use honey or maple syrup: just enough to mix into the almonds to give a soft, spreadable paste.
You might not need to use all of this paste, but if there is any left over, dollop it onto any of the apples you might have left and bake for 10 minutes or so for tasty almondy apples!
Recipe: glazed apple tart: makes 1 large or 2 smaller ones
- About 300g puff pastry (all-butter ideally)
- 3-4 tablespoons of instant almond paste (see above for recipe)
- 3-4 tablespoons mincemeat, optional (or use marmalade!) – or omit
- 3-4 small apples of choice, cored and sliced thinly (no need to peel)
- about 1 tablespoon sugar (caster, granulated, demerara, brown…)
- 1-2 tablespoons apricot jam, marmalade or lemon curd to glaze (you can add a splash of rum or brandy in there if you prefer!)
(1) Preheat the oven to 180C (fan).
(2) Roll out the pasty thinly and trim to a rectangle. You can make one large rectangle or cut into 2 (or more) smaller ones.
(3) Place on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Use a sharp knife to cut just a little into the pastry all the way around to create a border – about a centimetre wide. Prick the centre of the pastry with a fork, which will prevent the pastry and filling doming up as it bakes!
NB: this outer border rim will rise up a little as it bakes, creating a pastry lip around the filling.
(4) Make the almond paste by mixing the ingredients together in a small bowl. Spread it over onto the pastry, coming just up to the border. If using marzipan, roll out thinly and trim so it comes just up to the border – as in the photo below:
If using mincemeat or marmalade, dollop it over the marzipan/almond paste:
(5) Place the apple slices on top, either randomly or laying them slightly overlapping (which give a nicer effect). Sprinkle over the sugar.
(6) Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. As soon as it comes out of the oven, brush all over generously with the glaze (you can add a splash of hot water to the glaze if it seems on the firm side)
NB: you can run a sharp knife around the marzipan, going just a little into the pastry, if you want to form a pastry rim around the tart.