This recipe is from Jacquay Pfeiffer’s book, ‘The Art of French Pastry’, I bought this book over two years ago and now it is my bible. Jayquay, the son of a French baker from Alsace, is the co-founder of the French Bakery School in Chicago. Jaquay’s book is a series of pastry master classes that give very detailed information about the craft and skills required for French pastry making. The book builds on the basics, giving you an understanding of the sciences behind the ingredients and how they interact with one another.
Tarte aux Pommes Nougat
Pate Sucree – The sweet pastry dough needs to be made at least one day before required and left to rest in the fridge overnight. Ideally the butter used should be French butter (82% fat), I use the President brand. Almond flour is finely ground almonds. This recipe is sufficient for 8 tart tins with removable bases (12cm in diameter).
Ingredients For the Pate Sucree Pastry (sweet pastry):
168 grams Butter (French with 82 per cent butter fat)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
112 grams icing sugar
39 grams finely ground almonds
7 grams vanilla extract
2 medium eggs
315 grams plain flour
Cream the butter and sea salt in the mixer on a medium speed for 60 seconds. Add the sugar and combine on a low speed. Add the almonds and vanilla and combine again on a low speed for 60 seconds. Gradually add the eggs and a quarter of the flour and beat on a low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add the remaining flour. When incorporated take the dough out of the bowl and place on a large sheet of cling-film. Pat the dough down until it is 1/2 inch thick. Wrap in cling-film and put in the fridge overnight.
Lightly butter 8 tart rings (12 cm). Take the dough out of the fridge and cut into 2 equal portions. Return one portion to the fridge and leave the second one to come to room temperature for 10 minutes. Dust the work surface with flour. Tap gently on the dough with the rolling pin to make it more pliable. Roll out the dough evenly to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Line the tart rings and, using a fork, perforate the bottoms of the tarts then put in the fridge for one hour.
Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 3/325 degrees F. Line each individual tart case with parchment paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Put in the oven. After 15 minutes take out of the oven and remove beans and parchment paper. Put back in the oven for 10 minutes until the tarts are a light golden brown colour. Remove from the oven and put on a rack to cool.. Once cooled they can be stored an airtight container until you are ready to add the filling or the can be stored in the freezer.
Ingredients for the Apple and Nougat Filling
370 grams braeburn or bramley apples, peeled and cored ( I prefer the tartness of bramley apples against the sweetness of the nougat topping)
6 grams lemon juice
27 grams French butter
40 grams dark muscavado sugar
8 grams vanilla extract
56 grams egg whites
56 grams granulated sugar
56 grams sliced almonds
Pinch of cinnamon
Preheat the oven to Gas mark 3/180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.Cut the apple into 1/2 inch dice and toss with lemon juce in a bowl. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add the butter. Wait unitl the butter starts to go brown and the add the apples, sugar, and vanilla. Saute until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes, turning when one side is brown, Turn the apples out onto the lined baking sheet, spreading them evenly, and leave to cool.
To make the nougat/topping – beat the egg whites lightly in a bowl. Stir in the almonds,sugar and cinnamon, Spread the topping evenly over the apples. Put the tarts back in the oven and bake for 25-30 mins or until the crust and topping are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.