A delicious tart with apple chunks in vanilla and topped with a crunchy almond nougat, inspired by French pastry chef, Jacquy Pfeiffer. Sweet pastry dough from 'Teatime in Paris'.
125g (4.5oz)unsalted buttersoftened
75g (2.75oz)icing (confectioner's) sugar
1/2tspsalt(fleur de sel)
1/4tspvanilla powderor extract
200g (7oz)plain, all-purpose flour(type 45)
40g (1.75oz)ground almonds (almond flour)
3Organic apples (Braeburn, Golden or Granny Smith)peeled & cored
1/2tspvanilla powder(or 1 3/4 tsp extract)
2tbspcane sugar(or Turbinado)
55g (2oz)organic egg whites
55g (2oz)slivered almonds & broken walnuts(or mix including pecans, hazelnuts)
Sweet Pastry Base
For more complete instructions, follow the recipe on pages 106-109 in my book, 'Teatime in Paris'. Mix the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until creamy. Add salt then other ingredients until just mixed, then stop. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film or in a bag and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Take the pastry out of the fridge. Roll out the pastry on a very lightly floured surface to 4mm thickness. Press into the pastry ring or pan. Roll over the rolling pin on top to trim then push the pastry again into the ring to ensure it's straight against the sides. Set aside the remaining pastry, returning it to the fridge for at least 30 minutes.Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/360°F/Gas4.
Blind bake the pastry by topping with parchment paper and fill with baking beans, washed coins, rice or dried beans. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then set aside to cool on a wire rack, removing the baking beans (this seems short but it will be baked again later with the apples).
Prepare a sheet of parchment paper on the side. Heat a large frying pan over high heat and add the butter. Meanwhile, chop the apples into large dice (cut them quickly and there's no need to use lemon juice). When the butter is golden, fry the apples in sugar and vanilla for at least 5 minutes until seared a golden brown on one side. Turn the apples, cooking on high still for another 2 minutes then transfer to the parchment to cool.
In a bowl, whisk the egg whites with a fork until loosened up then stir in the sugar and sliced/chopped) nuts.
Evenly spread the cooled apples into the pastry base and top with the nougat. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Best served on the day but can be kept refrigerated until next day. Also freezes well (double wrap). Serve with vanilla ice cream, a dollop of crème fraîche, chestnut ice cream or a warmed pot of salted caramel sauce.