My Grandmothers Traditional Irish Apple Tart Recipe
The Best Traditional Irish Apple Tart Recipe
I love this traditional Irish apple tart recipe, it’s easy to make but above all its my Nanny Betty’s Traditional Irish Apple Tart Recipe. This is the epitome of traditional Irish Food for me.
My Apple Tart Story
Growing up as a child there was nothing better than walking into my Nanny Betty’s kitchen and seeing her standing in front of her mixing bowl with her sleeves rolled up peeling beautiful green juicy cooking apples. I was always amazed at how she would know by sight and feel if there was enough butter, enough flour or if the recipe needed that extra spoon of sugar. Nanny Betty’s traditional Irish apple tart recipe was always perfect and a welcome treat for a visiting grandchild on a weekend.
My Nan was pretty serious about apple tarts in general. The apples had to be soft with no solid bits, they had to be sweet but with just a little bit of a sour edge and the pastry had to by the right thickness. If the apple tart wasn’t up to her standards it was pushed to the side and she would be pretty vocal about her disapproval of the tart, to put it politely.
Years later while out with my Nan and my then girlfriend but now Wife Laura, we discovered that my Nanny Betty and Laura both had the exact same opinions when it came to apple tarts. I sat across from both of them in a cafe as they both discussed how a proper Traditional Irish Apple Tart should taste. I always laugh thinking back at that memory because of the look upon my Grandfathers face as my Nan and Laura talked. He looked at them then back at me, laughed and threw his eyes into the air as if to say, not another one.
This traditional Irish apple tart recipe is one that my Nan, Wife and my family have enjoyed for years. I really hope you try and enjoy my Nanny Betty’s Traditional Irish Apple Tart recipe and come to love it as I have. It’s recipes like this that help create some of the best memories in my childhood and I hope it will help you create some of your own. I hope you all try this wonderful Irish Apple Tart Recipe and enjoy one of my favourite traditional Irish foods.
This post is dedicated to the loving memory of my Nanny Betty and to my beautiful wife Laura. The two women in my life with such an excellent taste in apple tarts but even better taste in men.
If you like this recipe don’t forget to check out my newest Traditional Irish Colcannon Recipe.
This is my Nanny Betty's Traditional Irish Apple Tart recipe. This shortcrust Irish apple tart is made how my nan and my wife love it. The apples are soft and sweet with just a touch of tartness. Fantastic with fresh whipped cream and a nice cup of tea. Just as my nan and wife love it.
- 225 g Plain White Flour or 2 Cups
- 130 g Irish Butter Unsalted (room temp) or a 1/2 Cup
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Caster Sugar
- 45 ml Cold Water or Milk or 3 tbsp
- 4 Large Cooking apples approx 675 g / 1 1/2 lbs
- 75 g Caster Sugar or 6 tbsp
- A little bit of milk to glaze or egg yold mixed with milk
Sift the flour in to a large mixing bowl along with the salt and caster sugar. With a knife cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour. My nan would would always hold the block of butter and with a butter knife cut slivers off into the flour.
Rub the soft butter into the flour to create a breadcrumb like consistency. The key to a light pastry is to rub the butter into the flour while holding your hands above the bowl. This allows the flour to fall keeping air in the mixture and preventing a tough pastry.
Once the butter is combined add the water or milk and mix with your hand in a claw shape to bring the mixture clings together. Empty the bowl out onto a floured work surface and fold to bring all the mixture together into a smooth pastry.
Wrap pastry in clingfilm and place in your fridge to rest for approx 20 min. While this is resting you can preheat your oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6 then wash, peel and core your cooking apples then slice them and place in a bowl. You can sprinkle a little lemon juice over them to prevent them browning if you like but don't put them in a bowl of water. They will just absorb the water and you will loose a lot of flavour.
Once this is complete you can take your pastry out and divide it into two balls, one slightly bigger than the other. The small pastry ball will be used for the base while the bigger will be used for the top as it will need to cover the mound of sliced cooking apples.
My nan always used a dinner plate that had deep sides to make her apples tarts so that is what I use. If you like you can use a 23cm/9inch pie plate. Roll out the smaller pastry while keeping the second covered. Roll it to the size of your plate while leaving a little to overlap the edge.
Take half of your apple slices and layer them around the pastry covering the base. Sprinkle half of your sugar over the layer then add the remaining apples followed by the last of the sugar ensuring that space is left around the edge of the pastry.
Roll out the bigger ball of pasty to a size slightly bigger than the plate. Take a little bit of water or egg wash and rub it around the edge of the bottom layer of pastry. Transfer the top layer of pastry by rolling it over your rolling pin and folding it out over the apples. Ensure that there is a little bit of pastry hanging over the edge and pull and stretch to fit if needed.
With a sharp knife, hold the plate up with one hand and with the other hand run the edge of the blade around the plate to cut off the excess pastry. I use to love watching my nan doing this and she always seemed to trim it all in one smooth motion. A little twist of the wrist and the sound of the knife on the plate brings back fond memories.
Take a fork or the edge of a butter knife and press all around the edge of the pastry to seal. You can be as decorative as you like to create a nice, sealed crust.
With the remaining pastry you can create little decorations for the apple tarts like leaves. This was always my job when I was a kid and I loved that I could help my nan out.
Prod the pastry with a fork to allow the steam to release or cut four slits into the pastry near the center.
Brush the pastry with a little milk or egg yolk mixed with milk to create a golden crust.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry is nice and golden brown. When cooked the apples should be soft and sweet and the pastry should be fully cooked through and golden.
The apple tart can be served dusted with a little icing sugar and a nice bit of fresh whipped cream. It is always better with a nice Irish cup of tea just as nanny Betty like. You can't be that. Enjoy.
This is my Nanny Betty's Traditional Irish Apple Tart. My nan and my wife love the apples to be soft with no chunks but if you like you can cut the apples thick to keep a bit of texture to it.
You can also add a little dusting of cloves to the apples to add a little bit of extra flavour if you like.