Got some apples? Feeling creative? Impress your nearest and dearest while expressing your artistic side, writes Jo Grey.
For the Pastry
200g plain flour
125g unsalted butter, diced
30g icing sugar
1 large egg yolk
For the Crème pâtissière
350ml full-fat milk
4 large egg yolks
100g caster sugar
15g plain flour
½ tsp vanilla extract
For the Apple topping
4-5 fresh red apples, quartered, cored, and sliced very thin (keep in lemon water until ready to use)
Juice of 1 fresh lemon, added to a large bowl of cold water
2 tbs of warmed honey or golden syrup
- Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the diced butter and rub together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the icing sugar and then add the egg yolk and mix to a firm dough adding a little cold water if necessary. Chill for 30 minutes. Roll the pastry onto a lightly floured board, to 5mm thickness, and use to line a 25cm loose-based tart tin.
- Heat the oven to gas mark 5, 190°C, or 170°C fan. Line the tart with nonstick baking paper and ceramic baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then bake for 5 more minutes. Leave to cool.
- To make the crème pâtissière, heat the milk almost to boiling and then leave to cool for a few minutes. Put the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk until thick and pale. Add the flour and cornflour then whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk.
- Return the mixture to a clean pan and stir over a medium heat until it begins to thicken. Stir vigorously, reduce the heat to low, stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is very thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the crème pâtissière into the tart case and spread level. Chill for 4 hours, or until set.
- Drain the apple slices and microwave for 3 minutes until pliable. Roll a slice of apple into a tight spiral and stand it up vertically in the custard. Continue to arrange apple slices in a concentric pattern around the first one, building a rose pattern. Repeat until the top of the tart is completely covered with apple roses.Brush the warmed honey or syrup over the apples.