Milk and apple tart

This stunning milk and apple tart recipe makes a wonderfully comforting dessert for a dinner party. Robin Gill creates an intense burnt apple and malt purée to spread on the base of the tart, and uses toasted oats and a rye and wheat-based flour in the pastry that provides a warming, toasty flavour to the dish. The tart is inspired by Robin Gill's recent trip to South Tyrol: "One of the things that struck me most about my time in South Tyrol was the pride around the produce, but one ingredient was mentioned above all others … the apple. This dessert combines these beloved apples with another of South Tyrol’s greatest products – dairy. The quality of the milk and cream in this region is outstanding."

Milk and apple tart

Basic information

  • Preparation time: 02:30 h.
  • Persons: 8

Ingredients

    Oat tart base

    • 165g of oats
    • 170g of unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
    • 170g of bread flour, Robin uses Campaillou flour
    • 30g of cornflour
    • 2 eggs
    • 20g of egg yolks
    • 240g of caster sugar

    Egg Wash

    • 1 egg, whisked

    Burnt apple purée

    • 100g of Demerara sugar
    • 4 Granny Smith apples, diced
    • 50g of malt extract
    • 50ml of apple juice
    • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

    Custard

    • 200g of egg yolks
    • 110g of caster sugar
    • 680ml of double cream

    Equipment

    • Food processor
    • 30cm loose-bottomed tart tin
    • Baking beans

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 195°C/gas mark 5–6.

Place the oats on a baking tray and toast in the oven until golden.

Melt the butter in a pan over a high heat and cook until it starts to foam, brown and take on a nutty aroma. Immediately remove from the heat and cool quickly (set the base of the pan in cold water) to stop the butter from burning. Whisk during cooling so the milk solids are spread evenly through the butter as it sets.

Put the toasted oats in the food processor and add the flour and cornflour. Once the butter has chilled to room temperature, gradually add the brown butter through the feed tube as the machine is running.

Whisk the eggs and egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and butter mixture and fold through thoroughly. Line a bowl with cling film and pour the mixture in. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 210°C/gas mark 6–7.

Mix the sugar with the apples and spread out on a baking tray. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the apples are a deep, dark brown colour. Tip into a food processor, add the remaining ingredients and blend to a smooth purée. Pass through a fine sieve. The purée should be thick and sticky like a jam, if it’s too thin, transfer to a pan and cook on a low heat until thickened.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

Remove the pastry from the cling film, lightly flour if it is still too sticky to handle, then roll out to a 4mm thickness in between two sheets of greaseproof paper. Use to line a 30cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Cover with greaseproof paper and weigh down with baking beans. Blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, lower the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3–4 and bake for a further 10 minutes. Reduce the oven to 140°C 160°C/gas mark 3 and bake for a final 10 minutes. Brush the bottom of the pastry case with egg wash and allow to cool.

Turn the oven down to 110°C/gas mark 1/4.

Spread a thin layer of the purée over the bottom of the tart case and bake for 10 minutes to set the purée. Leave to cool.

To make the custard, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved.

Pour the cream into a pan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until a skin forms across the top. Remove the skin. Repeat this three more times, removing the skin each time. Finally, bring the cream to a simmer, then slowly stir it into the egg yolk mixture.

Preheat the oven to 110°C/gas mark 1/4.

Pour the custard into the pastry case. Bake the tart for about 1 hour or until it takes on a panna cotta wobble. Allow to cool to room temperature before slicing.

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