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Make An Apple Tart

My husband says that it has taken the Corona virus to strike for him to see that I can cook...


He's not being unfair to be honest. I mean, I do of course feed and water him regularly. But whereas I normally would be running around with a million things to do, the temporary loss of my job and being stuck indoors has meant that I'm suddenly paying more attention to cleaning the house and spending time in the kitchen.


As a result the house is looking cleaner than it ever has and hubbie has finally had an apple tart with custard :-)


And if you're a bloke reading this, I'll just say that my father was an amazing cook and so is my husband and so this post does also apply to you (without talking about all the famous male chefs in the world).



Now, the only reason I'm sharing my temporary moments of domestic goddessdom with you (and oh does hubbie know that this will be shortlived), is that if I can make an apple tart, then pretty much anyone can make an apple tart...seriously.


So go on...why not surprise yourself and/or the people you're living with...I promise you it's fun, it makes you switch off and it's great as a special treat.


Many of you will already have the main ingredients in your cupboards or they should be easy to get hold of; flour, butter, sugar, apples. I, personally, am completely self isolating at the moment and finding Deliveroo to be a lifesaver for the odd emergency shop (yes it does also offer limited grocery shopping although it is very pricey and they deliver quite quickly within the hour usually). If you don't have apples, then you can always use jam and resort to jam tarts (we used to make these as children with my gran). You'll probably find some receptacle in the depths of your cupboard that is ovenproof and can be used for tartlets or a larger tart. If not, you can just put the pastry and apples on a piece of tin foil. If you haven't got a rolling pin, you can try using an empty bottle of wine or an empty round bottle of milk. The picture below shows how you can simply use tin foil if you need to (or line a baking tray or use baking paper.



The whole thing takes about 2.5 hours from beginning to end (with an hour waiting for the pastry in the fridge and about 30 minutes cook time, so only about 45 minutes to 1 hour actually preparing stuff if you're like me and not like speedy gonzalez).


Ingredients:

- 250g plain flour

- 125g butter (cut into smaller chunks)

- 3 tablespoons white sugar

- 4 tablespoons water

- 4-5 apples


(if you only have half of everything, no worries at all, just do a half measure this time)


Optional toppings when the tart is ready:

- Custard powder (that you need to mix with sugar and milk)

- Cream

- or Ice Cream


1) Put the flour, butter and sugar into a large bowl.


2) (With thoroughly cleaned hands and nails ) mix all the ingredients together, rubbing the butter into the flour and breaking it all down until it all looks like fine breadcrumbs. Take your time doing this and lift your hands gently as you're mixing the ingredients, occasionally rotating the bowl, to add some air into the mixture.


3) Once it all looks like fine breadcrumbs, add the water slowly and with one hand bring the mixture back together again, rotating the bowl slowly with the other, until it forms a ball of dough.


4) Dust some flour over a clean flat surface of the kitchen and add the ball of dough onto it (that might feel a little sticky).


5) Knead the ball of dough together with a tiny bit of flour until it feels like a neat, together ball of dough.


6) Wrap in clingfilm or with a plastic freezer bag or place it in a bowl and cover and put it in the fridge for an hour.


7) Cut the apples into thin strips.



8) After an hour, dust some flour over the surface again and take the pastry out of the fridge to put on the surface.


9) If you only have a small surface, or small receptacles, you might need to roll the pastry in manageable pieces. Whether you roll the thing out at once or in bits, use a rolling pin or an empty bottle to roll the pastry out to about 1-2mm thickness. Cut the pastry then with a cookie cutter or with a knife for it to be the right shape for your receptacle / piece of foil.


10) Before putting the rolled pastry into any receptacle or onto any piece of foil to go in the oven, make sure you lightly brush the surface of that receptacle/area with some margarine or butter so that it doesn't stick.


11) Preheat the oven for a few minutes on 220 degrees Centigrade or equivalent.


12) Layer the apples in one layer on top of the pastry. Dust the apples with sugar. Or place a thin layer of jam if you have no apples.


13) Don't worry about using all of the pastry. You can put anything leftover in the freezer and bring it out for another day.


14) Put the tarts in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, until the apples and pastry look golden and ready.


15) Take your goodies out of the oven, not forgetting to turn the oven off...and when you or your house buddy/buddies are ready...serve up on its own or with cream, custard or ice-cream :-)


(Tip: If you're not going to serve up with any toppings and the apples look a little dry, this is completely optional but, before serving, you can always brush the tiniest thin layer of jam on top or dilute some jam with a few drops of boiling water and add some drops on top just to moisten a little).


Ta-dah...


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