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.
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.
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.