Apple Tart with Walnut Cream

I was half relieved when my son's PSLE Prelim was over this week! I had planned the week before, to visit my dear friend, Grace. She has been so busy with her baby since February that we didn't have the chance to meet up! I was also busy with the preparation for my son's exams during this period too!

I wanted to make something nice for her. I believe she must've missed baking for a long time! After going through a few recipe books, I decided on an "Apple tart with Walnut Cream" as I found it to be very special. Coincidentally, this month's Aspiring Bakers' theme was Easy as Pie.

I'll be submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #10: Easy as Pie (August 2011), hosted by Janine of Not the Kitchen Sink.
Recipe for Apple Tart with Walnut Cream, extracted from "The Pie and Pastry Bible" by Rose Levy Beranbaum with modification.
Makes a 9" Tart

Shortcrust Pastry, extracted from "Irresistable Pastry" by Alex Goh

Ingredients:
250g Plain flour
150g Butter
2 tbsps Sugar
1 Egg yolk
40g Water

Method:
  1. Mix the butter with the flour until crumbly.
  2. Add in egg and sugar first. Then add in water and mix to form a dough.
  3. Shape it into ball and press it flat.
  4. Wrap with plastic sheet and refrigerate for 30 mins.
  5. When ready to bake, floured a worktop, and roll out the dough to 3mm thickness.
* Note: The weight of the pastry is 480g. After using it for a 9" tart, I was left with some dough. Therefore, I made them into a few smaller tart base and kept them.

Poached Apples
3 Green apples (or any other cooking apples)
450g Water
12g Freshly squeeze lemon juice
4 Tbsps Sugar
1 Cinnamon stick
Method:
  1. Halved and core the apples before you poach them. (Original instructions was to remove the skin, but I didn't.)
  2. In a pan large enough to hold the apples in a single layer, combine the water, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon stick and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Add the apples, and bring the liquid to a boil. Simmer over low heat.
  4. Turn the apples and continue simmering for another 4 to 6 mins, or until a cake tester inserted in the thickest part of an apple enters easily.
  5. The apples should still be slightly firm. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely.
  6. The apples can be used immediately, but they develop more flavour if allowed to sit in the poaching liquid for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.
  7. Transfer the apples and their liquid to a bowl small enough so that the apples are covered by the liquid.
  8. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use.
* Note:
  • I used four apples, but left 2 halves. So three apples will be sufficient for a 9" tart.
  • The original recipe use a vanilla bean. I omit this totally.
  • I estimated the water, as long as the apples can lay out nicely in a single layer, half covered, it's alright.
  • Do not overcook the apples, otherwise, it won't be crunchy.
  • I made a day before and kept it in the fridge for at least 24hours. It made a lot of difference to the apple as it has a very rich cinnamon taste!
Walnut Cream Fillings
100g Walnuts halves, lightly toasted
60g Fine sugar
18g Plain flour
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
100g Unsalted butter, softened
2 large Eggs
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
Method:

  1. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, place the walnuts, sugar, flour and cinnamon and process until the walnuts are very fine.
  2. Empty the mixture into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy.
  4. Beat in about 1/2 cup of the nut mixture until incorporated.
  5. Beat in 1 egg along with another 1/2 cup of the nut mixture.
  6. Then beat in the second egg with the remaining nut mixture, together with the vanilla extract.
  7. Refrigerate until about 10mins before assembling the tart.
* Note:

  • After mixing all together, the walnut cream was liquid.
  • Place them in the fridge to firm up. Take them out of the fridge 10mins before you start assembling the tart. When it firm up, it's easier to spread. The cream will be thicker and easier to handle.
Assemble the tart
  1. Drain the apples well on paper towels. Reserved the poaching syrup.
  2. Using a sharp thin knife, slice each apple crosswise into thin slices.
  3. Spread the walnut cream evenly in the cooled baked tart shell.
  4. Arrange the apples neatly on the walnut cream.
  5. Bake in the oven of 180C for 30mins, or until the walnut cream puffs slightly, surrounding the apples and turns golden brown.
Glaze
1/2 cup Reserved syrup from poaching
1/2 tsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

Method:
  1. In a small saucepan, add in all the ingredients. Stir to incorporate.
  2. Heat the mixture till it boils. Stir constantly.
  3. Simmer for a few seconds, then remove from the heat.
  4. Pour into a small cup.
  5. Use a brush to coat the apples and the walnut fillings well.
  6. Unmould the tart and serve immediately.
  7. It can store in room temperature up to 1 day, or refrigerated up to 3 days. Allow the tart to come to room temperature before serving.
The tart truly delivered what it promised. The apple was still crunchy and developed a full cinnamon flavour. The walnut tart was very fragrant from the ground walnut, and creamy. The sweetness of the overall tart actually came from the walnut cream. However, as I had already reduced the sugar, the sweetness was acceptable. The tart crust was very crispy. Both of us loved the crust very much too! I was glad the tart turns out to be delectable! I would definitely make this again, however, this time, I will use the original tart crust from Rose!

3 comments:

Thecoffeesnob said...
August 7, 2011 at 6:47 PM

I love tarts- apple tarts especially- but don't make them often. Congrats on passing the first hundle with your son's prelims, Jane!

Anonymous said...
August 8, 2011 at 6:28 PM

You pretty much said what i could not effectively communicate. +1

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passionbaker said...
August 9, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Thanks Laureen! I also love apple tarts in particular. Yeah, I survived the first ordeal!

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