I call these Auld Alliance Apple Tarts just because they are rather prettily set out in the French style rather than a pie case packed with apple with pastry on top. The Auld Alliance for those not in the know was the name given to the bond between Scotland and France to defeat the English many years ago.
Apple tart to me is the ultimate in comfort food. The go-to pudding of my childhood. My Mum used to make apple tart every Sunday as part of the Sunday lunch. Apple tart with cream or ice-cream if we were lucky. Oh the memories the scent of apple pie brings back to me. There is my Mum, flour on her hands making the pastry, the apples peeled and chopped. There’s Dad at the head of the table on Sunday. My brother and I waiting in anticipation for that lovely juicy apple pie, would it be cream or ice-cream? Funny how food can take you back in time.
I actually came up with this recipe for auld alliance apple tarts when I was writing my Simply Scottish Cakes & Bakes book. Get that if you want to find loads of Scottish baking recipes from breads to shortbreads, cakes to tarts and all calorific goodies in between!
I used ready made puff pastry for my base here but if you have the time and inclination feel free to make your own. To me life is just too short for making my own puff pastry, it’s right up there with peeling grapes!
This recipe will make four tarts and the only slightly tricky thing about it is getting the hang of overlapping the apple slices so they lie properly in a pretty circle. Just practice and if they aren’t perfect who cares, baking and cooking isn’t about perfection, it’s about taste and making food from scratch.
AULD ALLIANCE APPLE TARTS
- 350 g/12oz puff pastry
- 4 eating apples
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 4 tbsp golden granulated sugar
- 25 g/1oz unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp Scottish runny heather honey
- Preheat oven to 220C/425F and line a baking tray
- Zest the lemon and squeeze out the juice, keep juice and zest in a bowl ready to dip the apple
- Peel and core the apples and cut into quarters and thinly slice evenly and roll in the lemon juice and zest
- Roll out the puff pastry on floured surface to about 2mm thick and cut into 4 circles approx 15cm diameter (I used an upturned soup bowls guide)
- Place rounds on prepared baking tray well apart
- Add the apple slices to create circles on each pie, the apples should overlap each other
- Sprinkle with the sugar and dot with butter
- Bake for approx 15-20 mins till puffed and golden
- Serve warm from the oven with a drizzle of honey for a lovely glaze