Tarte a l’ancienne
Apple puree made with Bramley or other cooking apples
A couple of handfuls of raisins soaked in rum for at least 24 hours.
Eating apples such as Cox’s Orange Pippin finely sliced
Sugar or honey.
Line a baking tin with the pastry and prick the bottom at least 20 times with a fork.
Place a large piece of cooking foil over the pastry and press on to the pastry across the base and up the sides of the tin, gently folding over the edges.
Cook for about 12 minutes in a pre-heated oven at Gas 4.
Remove the foil and brush the base and sides of the pastry case with beaten egg – return to the oven for about 3 minutes. This helps “waterproof” the pastry and reduce the risk of a soggy bottom.
Set the pastry case aside for at least an hour (or even make the day before) which helps the pastry firm up.
Spread the apple puree over the base, top with the drained raisins.
Place any odd shaped slices of apple on the first layer across the top of the tart and finish with a decorative layer of the best slices.
Sprinkle over sugar or drizzle with honey.
Cook for about 20 minutes at Gas 3 – the apple slices need to be softened but avoid the pastry edges over cooking (the apples will continue to cook for a while when the tart is taken out of the oven).
Decorate with more sugar or honey as needed.
I tend not to use anything more than honey on top of the tart so that the contrast of sharp fruit flavours can shine through. But the version we made with my friend and co-cook, Karen, for her family birthday lunch was more indulgent: brown sugar and butter in the puree, lashings of sugar plus honey on top.