Apple Tart Flamed with Calvados. Normandy is famous for its cream, apples and a beautiful apple liqueur called Calvados.
8 apples (red delicious, granny smith or another variety of your choice)
2 tablespoons water
250 g (9 oz) puff pastry
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons pouring cream
2 tablespoons caster (superﬁne) sugar
3 tablespoons Calvados
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Peel 4 of the apples, then cut them into eighths and remove the cores. Cook with the 2 tablespoons of water in a covered saucepan until tender. Mash the apple to a purée and leave it to cool.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until it is about 30 cm (12 in) round and about 3 mm (1⁄8 in) thick.
Carefully lift the pastry onto the prepared baking tray. Prick the pastry with a fork to prevent shrinkage. Use the tip of a knife blade to trace a smaller circle on the pastry, leaving a 2.5 cm (1 in) edge. Mix the egg yolk and water together and use to brush the edge.
Spread the apple purée over the pastry, leaving the edge free. Spread the cream over the purée.
Peel, quarter and core the remaining apples and cut each quarter into four wedges. Starting at the outer edge, arrange the apple wedges on top of the purée, forming a spiral towards the centre. Overlap the slices a little and make sure you leave no gaps.
Sprinkle on the sugar and bake for about 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) and bake for a further 30 minutes. The tart is cooked when the pastry is golden brown and crisp and the edges of the apples are lightly browned. The pastry base should be dry and lightly browned.
Carefully transfer the tart to a serving platter.
In a small saucepan, bring the Calvados to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and away from the stove, then carefully flame the Calvados. Carefully pour the flaming liqueur over the tart and serve when the flames have subsided.
This is an edited recipe extract from Delicieux: The Recipes of France by Gabriel Gate, published by Hardie Grant and available in book stores now.