Treacle apple tart

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It has been a rather crazy week of work: reports, data, lesson observations and meetings have meant my evenings have been taken up with work so I’m only just getting round to writing this up. I made this last weekend as we had friends round for Sunday lunch. Mr Birdie had some apples he’d bought and then forgotten about that needed using up and after a little research I found this BBC Good Food recipe for treacle apple tart.

You’ll need a 23cm fluted tart tin which is about 3cm deep (mine wasn’t as deep and it did mean that not all my filling fitted in). You can use shop-bought shortcrust pastry or of course make your own as I did. I used the recipe from the lemon meringue pie I made a couple of weeks ago. With hindsight I did perhaps roll the pastry too thin as I had quite a bit of ‘leakage’ when I put the filling in (although it is quite a wet mixture). This meant that my pastry wasn’t quite as crisp as I would have liked. Whatever pastry you use will require chilling for at least 30 minutes so remember to factor this in.

It went down well and makes an unusual alternative to traditional treacle tart. You can definitely taste the lemon which helps to cut through the sweetness. Serve with custard, ice cream or clotted cream (or all three if you’re so inclined!)

Ingredients:
375g pack sweet shortcrust pastry
A little flour (for dusting)
600g golden syrup (plus a little extra)
225g fresh white breadcrumbs
Zest and juice 2 lemons
3 large eggs (broken up with a fork)
5 small eating apples

Method:
1) Make your pastry (if doing so) and then roll out on a flour-dusted surface until big enough to line a 23cm fluted tart tin (about 3cm deep – making sure it). Lift the pastry into the tin to line, then cover and chill for 30 minutes.

2) Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6. Scrunch up a big sheet of baking parchment and use to line the pastry before filling with baking beans (or dried lentils or rice). Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the beans and parchment and bake for 10-12 minutes more until the pastry is golden and biscuity.

3) Meanwhile, put the golden syrup, breadcrumbs, zest from both lemons and juice from 1, and the eggs in a big mixing bowl. Peel 2 of the apples and coarsely grate into the bowl. Mix everything together.

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4) Reduce the oven to 160C/140C fan/Gas 3. Use an apple corer to core the 3 remaining apples, then slice thinly into rings (I found I only needed 2). Toss the slices with the remaining lemon juice to stop them from browning. Tip the syrupy crumbs into the tin and arrange just enough of the apple slices in an overlapping ring. Brush an extra 1-2 tablespoons syrup over the apple slices until they’re covered, then return the tart to the oven and bake for 55 minutes–1 hour until the exposed filling feels set to the touch (if your apple slices start to look a little too brown cover with foil).

5) Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then carefully remove, drizzle a little more syrup over the top and serve warm with custard, ice cream or dollops of clotted cream.

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