Monday, 15 September 2014

Celebrating Autumn - Caramel Apple Tart

I had to live 21 years to decide which season was my favourite. Autumn won. Lot of people go for spring, but that's the season I particularly don't like. It's the end of the winter, but still SO cold for several weeks, then you just can't tell whether it's gonna be hot or chilly that day. With Autumn, it's different - it's cold. Maybe there is a little bit of sunshine, but still cold. Festive season is coming, or is already here, the colours are amazing, and there is rain. My favourite type of weather. I just adore the smell of wet fallen leaves in the park, when it's still not freezing, but you already got red cheeks. Oh my.
And as a baker, this is the best season EVER. Baking over the summer is such a pain, with heating up the already hot house and all that. During winter it is really lovely, but the rage of ingredients are wider during the autumn, so it is the best. And all these fruits and veggies - apples, pears, grapes, squash, nuts etc - are the best to combine with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger.

This tart is very simple but yet has a special kick with the bottom caramel layer. You can't exactly feel the caramer cracking, as it melts in the oven and merges with the apples, but it still has that lovely flavour what makes this tart stand out.
It takes quite a long time to grate the apples - if you don't have much time, just cut into small pieces.

300 g all purpose flour
200 g butter
100 g icing sugar

100 + 30 g caster sugar
5 middle size apples, peeled and grated
10 g butter
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix the flour with the icing sugar. Cut the butter into tiny cubes, and add it to the flour mixture. Crumble the butter into the flour using your fingertips. Add some cold water to form a dough. Put it in the fridge for a little while.
Melt the butter in a pan, and add grated apple, cinammon and 30 g sugar. Cook until it losts half of its size,
Grease a normal tart form, and preheat the oven for 175 C. Separate the dough into two parts; it should be 1/3 and 2/3. Roll the bigger one and place it in the form. Place baking paper on the dough, then some baking beans or rice (these could not be used as beans or rice anymore so I suggest to keep them after baking for another time!). Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the beans and bake for an other 5 minutes.
While the crust is in the oven, separate the smaller dough, roll them and cut them into stripes.
When the crust is ready, put 100 g caster sugar into a pan and let it melt on medium heat. Do not mix until it all melted. When it is all melted, as quick as possible pour it onto the crust. It hardens very fast! Spread it as much as you can. Place the cooked apples on the caramel, then finish it with the dough stripes. Put it back into the oven for 15-20 minutes.

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