Anticipation would mount as the pie was carefully removed from the oven and lovingly eased on to the old platter that came from my Grandmother’s house so many years before.
Patience had to be applied, “Don’t touch, it’s too hot, you’ll have to wait till tea time”, oh the agonies of seeing and smelling that pie and the longing to taste and savour it.
The wait was always worthwhile though, the patience rewarded – the feast of pie with cream or ice-cream always made those hours of longing something to savour in themselves. All part of that sweet and tart experience.
This to me is comfort food, cosy yet creative, tasty and tempting and nice and easy to make.
My spiced apple tartlets are so easy to make and you can ease up on any pressure by using ready rolled pastry if you prefer.
- 175g/6oz plain flour
- 90g/3oz butter
- 25g/1oz caster sugar
- 1 egg (yolk only beaten)
- 1 eating/dessert apple with red skin (I used Pink Lady)
- 1 teaspoon lemon plus the zest
- 1 tablespoon sultanas
- soaked in 1 teaspoon of brandy/whisky/orange juice
- 1 tablespoon flaked almonds
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons runny honey
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons golden caster sugar
- Sift flour and rub in the butter to form a breadcrumb like mixture. Add the sugar and bind together with the beaten egg yolk.
- Flour a board and roll out the pastry. This makes enough pastry to line a 9 inch flan tin or 2 of my tartlets.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and grease your tartlet tins (I use the pop up base kind to make removal so much easier)
- Line your tins with the rolled out pastry.
- Peel the apple and try to do this without breaking the skin too much as you want to reserve this to make a little rose for decoration.
- Thinly slice the apple trying to keep the slices uniform in size so they will sit well together and cook evenly. Toss the slices in the lemon juice and zest and then place them in overlapping circular style in your tart cases. One apple should be enough for the two tartlets. Add the flaked almonds and soaked sultanas to the apples.
- Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and pour on a spoonful of runny honey on each tartlette. Sprinkle on the golden caster sugar.
- Now take the reserved apple peel and cut in half (if it hasn't fallen apart already!), you're now going to pinch on end tightly and then roll a few inches of peel to get your rose shape. It might take a couple of tries to get it to look right but persevere as it really finishes the tarts nicely. Place rose in centre of tart and then pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes or until pastry is golden and is coming away from tin edges and the apply middles are bubbling and gorgeous.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Serve with cream or icecream.