“Music is well said to be the speech of angels.”
Tomas Carlye, Philosopher, 1795-1881
My niece and nephew, Helena and Dan are very different from each other. Helena is very quiet and a real animal lover. Whilst Dan is more of an extrovert and enjoys sports. However, what they both love is music. From a very early age, Dan would ask for the ‘Now that is What I Call Music’ album for Christmas. Helena is currently enjoying the back catalogue of the rock band, MCR. Although different in character, they get on well together and with the other cousins too.
This is Helena’s favourite dessert. The sweetness of the custard filling complements the sourness of the apple and blackberries.
For the tart pastry: 340g (12oz) plain flour * pinch of salt * 140g (5oz) unsalted butter * 85g (3oz) icing sugar * 2 eggs, beaten
For the filling and topping: 6 egg yolks * 115g (4oz) caster sugar * 30g (1oz) cornflour * 15g (½oz) plain flour * 500ml (1 pint) milk * 1 vanilla pod * 15g (½oz) butter * 4 dessert apples * 85g (3oz) blackberries * 85g (3oz) apricot jam * 1tbsp warm water
Make the pastry: Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips, until soft. Add the sugar, then the eggs and mix together. Knead to make a smooth dough. Roll into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and put into the fridge for an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas 4. Roll out the pastry into a circle on a lightly floured surfaced and use to line an 18-inch tart tin. Press into the edge and trim. Line the pastry with a crumpled piece of greaseproof paper and baking beads. Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes, remove the paper and beads and bake for a further 3-5 minutes or until cooked.
Make the pâtissière: Whisk together the egg yolks and half the sugar until pale and creamy. Sift the cornflour and flour together well. Put the milk, remaining sugar and vanilla pod in a saucepan. Bring just to the boil and then strain over the egg yolk mixture, stirring continuously. Pour back into a clean saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes, then stir in the butter and leave to cool. Transfer to the pastry case.
Complete the tart: Peel and core the apples, cut them in half and then into thin slices. Arrange over the top of the tart. Place the blackberries in and around the apples then bake for 25-30 minutes or until the fruit and pastry are cooked. Leave to cool completely, then melt the jam with 1 tbsp warm water. Sieve out any lumps or pips and brush over the fruit to make them shine.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
There are more recipes in the section THE FRENCH COLLECTION, a selection of authentic French recipes.
Perfect after: click on image