After staying at home to be a homemaker for the past 6 years, one thing that I missed most from work life is the social interactions with my ex-colleagues. So I was very excited when there was a gathering cum a house-warming party on the last Sunday of 2013. I baked this Apple Crumble Tart and a Pandan Kaya Cake for the pot-luck party.
(for one 9" tart)
(A): Shortcrust pastry base
180g plain flour
30g icing sugar
90g salted butter (or use unsalted butter and add 1/4 tsp salt)
1 egg yolk + 2 tbsp milk + 1/2 tsp vanilla essence (egg mixture)
A little egg white for brushing the partial-baked tart
[Note: Original recipe calls for 160g plain flour and 80g butter. But I want to be safe and add a little more flour and butter, to ensure that the dough is enough to fit the pan. It can be very frustrating to be trimming dough just to fit the pan. At the end, I just have a tiny ball of extra dough leftover, which I can just add over for the crumble toppings].
(B): Apple Fillings
Green apples (peeled, cored and cut into cubes) - weighs about 500g after cutting
80g fine sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated lemon zest
35g raisins (soaked with 2 tbsp orange/apple juice or liquor) - discard juice after soaking
1 tbsp butter
A little cornstarch solution (to thicken the fillings) - mix about 1 tbsp cornstarch to 2 tbsp water
(C): Almond cream
40g unsalted butter
30g fine sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
15g plain flour
40g ground almond meals
1 tsp vanilla or rum essence
(D): Crumble Toppings:
45g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
45g plain flour
30g icing sugar
45g ground almond meal
Additional 1 to 2 tbsp fine sugar for dusting on top just before baking - optional
1) For the crust base: Sift flour and icing sugar together. Cut the butter into small cubes and mix with flour mixture. Use finger tips to rub the butter into the flour till the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the egg mixture to form into a dough. If the dough is too dry, add another tablespoon of milk. Do not knead the dough. Wrap in clingwrap and store in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
2) Roll out the dough to fit the tart pan (with removable base). Trim and chill the tart shell for another 15 minutes. Just before baking, lightly prick the base with a fork.
3) Blind bake in preheated oven at 190C for about 10 minutes. Remove baking paper/beans and bake for another 10 minutes. Brush the tart shell with some beaten egg whites and bake for a further 3 minutes. Cool the tart shell briefly before adding the fillings.
4) Prepare apple fillings (do this while waiting for dough to be ready for rolling, i.e. after step 1):
In a pot, mix apple, sugar and lemon juice together. Cook apple on low heat (the mixture will release some liquid) till apple softens. Add in ground cinnamon, lemon zest and soaked raisins. Stir in the butter. Thicken the apple fillings with a little cornstarch solution Remove from heat and let it cool before filling into tart shell.
5) Prepare almond cream: Cream butter and sugar together till creamy. Gradually add in the beaten egg and cream well. Mix in the plain flour, followed with the ground almond and vanilla essence. Mix well. Keep chill in fridge till ready to use.
6) Mix crumble toppings ingredients together and rub using finger tips to combine butter and mixture till it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
7) To assemble for final baking:
a) Spread prepared almond cream evenly into partial baked tart shell (make sure tart shell has cooled down briefly, else the almond cream will melt).
b) Pour apple fillings over almond cream and topped with crumble. Dust with additional fine sugar over the crumble (optional).
c) Bake in preheated oven at 190C for about 30 minutes.
Cool the tart before removing from the tart pan. If you like, dust the top with snow powder before serving.
【Recipe largely based on: 孟老师的甜派与咸派】