For our birthday bash, we made some pastry nibbles. However, as a result of my scribbled shopping list, we ended up with about 5 times as much shortcrust pastry as we needed. So I have found a way to use it up. Apple tartlets.
Now I know if you want really good pastry you should make it yourself, but shop bought Jus-Rol shortcrust pastry is actually dairy free. So when I have a couple of kilos of dairy free pastry sitting in the freezer, it’s not very likely that I’m going to attempt to make it myself. After a couple of attempts at these tarts I consulted the book I probably should have gone to straight away, Richard Bertinet’s Pastry. Simple tips on how to prepare pastry and line tins, which I’ve incorporated into this recipe. I haven’t actually done the whole process with the resting and everything, but even the “tests” have tasted pretty good.
I don’t think the “frangipane” here is actually frangipane it’s more like an almond filling, I’ve adapted it from this recipe by Pure and Simple Bakes.Makes 8 x 9cm tartlets 500g Jus-Rol shortcrust pastry 4 eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced finely 1 x quantity of frangipane (with some leftover) cinnamon apricot jam For the frangipane 6 tbsp Trex 150g caster sugar 140g ground almonds 2 tbsp cornflour pinch salt 160ml almond milk 2tsp vanilla essence ½tsp almond essence
Preheat the oven to 190°C or 170°C for a fan oven.
First, using the pastry straight from the fridge cut the block into four, each quarter makes 2 tarts. Roll the quarter of pastry into a rectangle that is twice as long as it is wide (so you can cut two squares out of it) and about 2mm thick. Cut the rectangle in half and lay the square over the tart tin. Gently push it onto the base of the tin and then push it around the sides. You can use a leftover piece of pastry to make a ball, dip it in flour and use that to push the pastry against the tin. With the overhanging edges, push them gently against the top of the tin, using the edge as a cutter to trim off the excess. (Don’t be tempted to re-roll the excess, it just won’t work) Repeat all of this for the other tins, then put in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
Now you need to blind bake the tartlets. This means that you pre-bake them, not part bake them (as Bertinet points out) so you want them to be quite golden and cooked. Cut out eight small squares of greaseproof paper so that they will line the tarts with an overhang all the way round. Line the tarts with the greaseproof and fill them with ceramic baking beans or dried beans (I used haricot beans). Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, remove the beans and bake for a further 8 minutes until golden.
Allow the tart cases to cool while you make the frangipane. Put all the ingredients except the milk, vanilla and almond essences into a food processor and blitz until well combined and crumbly. Slowly pour in the combined milk and essences, pulsing until you have a thick batter.
Peel and slice your apples, you can cut the thin slices in half if you want to layer them over each other. A bit of trial and error is necessary here! I sliced the apple by cutting it in half, removing the core, and then placing the apple flat side down on the work top and cutting perpendicular to the cavity where the core was.
Spread a spoonful of frangipane into each tart case and arrange the apple slices on top. Dust with cinnamon and bake for 30 minutes until the frangipane is a deep golden colour.
Leave to cool slightly while you make the glaze. Mix two heaped teaspoons of apricot jam with two teaspoons of water, and heat in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. Brush the glaze over the tarts with a pastry brush.
Allow to cool completely before you remove them from the tins. Best to keep them in the fridge and eat the cold.