Friday, 30 March 2012

Irish Apple Tart to soothe a nice weekend


This is somewhat a delayed post for St. Paddy's Day but all in all it was my first ever attempt at making a decent Irish Apple Tart! Based on Richard Corrigan's recipe, I made my own little version of it replacing certain ingredients with others depending on what I had lying around at home.

Ingredients:
150g dried currants
150ml Irish whiskey
250g caster sugar 
750g bramley apples (it is about 5 small ones / 3 medium ones / 2 big ones)
25g butter / 1 tbsp of butter
1 medium sized cinnamon stick
1 beaten egg
284ml double cream

Pastry:
500g plain flour
250g butter
100g sugar
2 eggs

Method:
  1. Firstly prepare the pastry. In a mixing bowl, sift the flour and cut in the butter. Using your fingers, rub in the butter until it looks like bread crumbs. If you are using a food processor (quicker even), pulse it until it looks like bread crumbs. Then add in the sugar and eggs to combine the flour mixture into a dough. Wrap it in cling film and leave it to chill for 30 minutes.
  2. In the meantime prepare your apple filling. In a pan, heat up butter and apples with half the sugar and a bruised cinnamon stick (use a pestle and crush it a little). Add in half the portion of Irish whiskey along with it to cook the apples.
  3. In a separate pan, cook the currants with the remaining Irish whiskey and a little bit of sugar. Let it come to a boil and switch it off for the currants to soak in the whiskey.
  4. Heat up the oven til about 170 Degree Celcius. Take out the chilled pastry from the fridge to let sit for 5 minutes. Flour a surface before placing pastry and rolling it out to 3mm thickness. Using the rolling pin, raise the rolled out pastry on the rolling pin, and roll it up. Place in on a ceramic pie dish and unroll it. Flatten the pastry and edge out any air underneath. Trim the pastry edges, prick with a fork  to allow air to release and pop it into the oven for 10 minutes baking it blind with baking beans / beads. 
  5. In the meantime, check the apple filling that is soaked up the caster sugar and whiskey. Turn the gas off and let it cool. 
  6. Remove the pastry from the oven, take out the baking beans, and brush the pastry with the beaten egg, place it back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Repeat the process again. This keeps the pastry crispy. (A tip I learnt from Richard Corrigan himself).
  7. Then, place in the apple filling spreading it out equally. Then toss in the currants soaked in whiskey carefully distributing them. Whatever juice is left behind can be used when whipping up the whip cream. Roll out the remaining pastry to cover the top of the tart. Press the edges with a fork before poking the surface to allow the heat to escape. Then cut some leaf  shapes out of the remaining pastry. Brush it with remaining beaten egg before laying the leaves on it and brush the leaves with the beaten egg and pop it into the oven. Leave it for a good 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. 
  8. Take the tart out and leave it to cool.
  9. In a separate mixing bowl, whip the cream with the juice from the currants and the remaining demarara sugar. Serve a slice of apple tart with the cream.

A close up view of the pie!

It is also a pie which I think is suitable for the sunny weather that England is experiencing...a perfect snack for those who wanna go on a picnic! Not a whiskey fan? Or rather have it without alcohol? Simple, omit it completely! Add a bit of vanilla essence (1 tsp) to add flavour to the apple filling and you have a non-alcoholic apple tart coming your way :)

If you want the actual recipe? then click here.

Watch out for Sunday's post...something really cool is happening!

The Innovative Baker

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