This is my go to dessert when I want to impress. It ticks all the boxes; it tastes amazing, looks great, and is far easier than it may appear. I always get compliments when I serve it, and, I think its the only recipe I've phoned up a stranger for, after they brought it along to a dinner party I was at, many years ago. So thank you to the nice lady who gave me this recipe!
For the base:
150g Plain flour
75g Unsalted butter
75g Caster sugar
60g Amaretti biscuits
For the topping:
800g even sized apples, the original recipe uses Bramleys, I use whatever I have; here I am using Pink Lady apples
60g caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
25g butter, melted
My loose bottom flan tin is 26cms
To make the base, crush the biscuits finely (I pop them in a bag and use a rolling pin to crush them). Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar and biscuits. If you have a food processor you could just throw it all in! Press this mixture firmly into the base of your greased tin.
Prepare your apples by cutting into quarters, peeling them if you choose and coring them. You will see from the photos I didn't peel mine on this occasion, as I thought the red skins would look pretty, I probably would however, if I was using an apple such as Bramleys.
My instructions then say... 'Take an apple quarter and slice it finely, holding the slices together as you cut. Repeat with the rest of the apples. Once all your quarters are prepared, take an apple section and, pushing down on it gently, fan the slices out slightly'. It never quite happens like this for me, so what I do is slice each quarter into 5 or 6 pieces, and then arrange them as neatly as I can on top of the biscuit base. Fortunately, the recipe seems to be very forgiving, and the tart always comes out looking pretty for me, however uneven the slices appear while I am cutting them!
Once you have arranged the slices to your liking (do try not to leave any base uncovered) brush the apples with the melted butter and sprinkle them with a mix of the sugar and cinnamon. Pop onto a baking sheet and stick in the oven. I cook in an old aga, so I am used to ignoring temperature and timing guides, but my original recipes suggests 200C for 30-40 minutes. In the hot oven of the aga it usually takes about 30 minutes. It is ready when the apples are soft and have a little colour to their edges. Leave to cool before removing from the tin, and then serve with cream or creme fraiche.