The Mam makes the best apple tarts – I might have mentioned that a few times – but she really does make great tasting apple tarts.
She still amazes me to this day how she knows just the right amount of everything without so much as a scales in sight. And… how quickly she can have a couple of freshly baked tarts lined up for all the family.
You see… she can’t make just the one apple tart, ′cause if any of the family get even the slightest hint that she’s baking then she’s bombarded with visitors. So thankfully she makes batches to feed and keep us all happy.
The hubby and the small one love her apple tarts, even though the small one gets me to scoop out and eat most of the apple, so he’s really only eating apple flavoured pastry.
I’ve made many an attempt to bake apple tarts over the years – the same way I’ve watched the mam making them for years – but for some reason they always look the part… just never taste the same.
So I’ve now given up trying to replicate her apple tarts. Somethings are best just left alone.
Instead, I bake alternative apple dishes like this apple sponge tart. That way the hubby and small one can’t make comparisons to me and the Mam and that lends itself to a much happier household.
Apple sponge tart
Serves 8-10 • Baking time: Approx 60 minutes • Pastry recipe taken from www.odlums.ie
175g plain flour
1 tablespoon castor sugar
5-6 tablespoons cold water
2lb cooking apples
50g castor sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
175 g castor sugar
175g soft margarine
3 medium eggs lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175g self-raising flour
1. Preheat the oven to 180c/gas 4/160c (fan).
2. Grease a 23cm round loose bottom flan tin.
3. To make the pastry: sift the flour and sugar together and rub in the margarine until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add in enough water to make a soft dough.
4. Lightly knead the dough on a floured surface, roll out and line the prepared flan tin. Then place in the fridge until you are ready for it.
5. To make the apple filling: peel, core and chop the apple into small pieces and put in a saucepan along with the castor sugar and two tablespoons water. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in the cinnamon and set aside to cool.
6. To make the sponge: beat the sugar and margarine together until light and fluffy.
7. Add the eggs, a little at a time along with the vanilla extract.
8. Sift the flour and fold into the mixture.
9. To assemble: remove the pastry base from the fridge and pour the apple mixture into it. Spoon the sponge mixture over it, ensuring all the apple filling is covered.
10. Bake for 60-65 minutes until the sponge is golden brown and springy. Leave to cool in the tin.