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Spiced Apple Tart

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
Sweet Shortcrust pastry for a 20 cm (8 in) tart plate or dish

for the filling

450 g (1 lb) Bramley, Cox's or Golden Delicious apples
15 g (1/2 oz) butter
90 ml (6 tbsp) water
5 cm (2 in) cinnamon stick.
2.5 g (1/2 tsp) ground nutmeg
75 g (3 oz) castor sugar
15 g (1 tbsp) sugar
2.5 g (1/2 tsp) ground cinnamon

method

1. Peel, core and slice the apples thickly. Put them in a pan with the cinnamon stick, butter and the water.

2. Bring to a simmer then stew until tender. Draw off the heat, stir in the sugar and nutmeg and leave to cool. Remove the cinnamon stick.

3. Meanwhile make the pastry. Divide it into one-third and two thirds and roll out the smaller piece to fit a 20 cm (8 in) tart plate or dish, leaving it to rest for a few minutes.

4. Lift up the pastry using the rolling pin as an aid, and line the plate with it. Trim the edge and prick all over with a fork.

5. Spoon the cold apple mixture into the shell, mounding it high in the middle and leaving a wide border of pastry all round the rim of the dish. Moisten the pastry rim with water. Roll out the remainder of the pastry and lay it on top of the apple filling. Pinch and crimp the two pastry edges well together, trim the sides and decorate with leftover scraps of pastry. Make two small cuts in the middle of the crust to allow the steam to escape.

6. Put the tart plate on a hot baking sheet in the oven and bake at 200°C (400°F) Gas 6 for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 and bake until golden, about 40 minutes. Dredge the top generously with the mixed sugar and ground cinnamon.

7. Serve hot or cold with whipped cream or custard on the side.

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