Friday, November 12, 2004

Almond Apple Marzipan Tart

Sugar High Friday # 2 Apples
This is a world food blogging event hosted by Jennifer at Domestic Goddess

When I was a kid I used to giggle and say "If I had been Eve, we would all still be running around naked, because I don't like apples!" It's true - I still don't like to eat raw apples very much, except very sharp crisp varieties like a Granny Smith. The good news is that I love cooked apples, and as a kid I loved the apple sauce my mum served with roast pork or the blackberry and apple crumble we'd often have for dessert (I was the one who's job it was to make the crumble).

I rarely cook desserts or sweet things, but this month I have been organizing a series of Bake Sales for Charity at work which gave me the perfect excuse to try out a recipe that had been brewing in my head for quite some time.

I cheated and bought ready-made pastry. Not only ready made, but already rolled out and cut in a circle shape. I don't have a problem with that. It makes preceedings far simpler. The result would probably have never come to such elegant, successful fruition if I hadn't cheated.

1 x frozen All butter "French Picnic" 9" flaky Pastry Circle (purchased at Wholefoods) or something similar.
Juice of a couple of lemons, in a bowl
Several cooking apples*
1/2 lb Marzipan. I used Organic Marzipan from Sicily because I was seduced by the pretty box in my local grocery store.
Raw flaked almonds
Icing (Confectioners) Sugar
A heaped tablespoon of apricot jam.

click on the picture to enlarge

Heat oven to 400 F
Defrost pastry (10 mins), place on a circle of parchment cut to size on a baking tray, prick all over with a fork and place in the fridge to keep cold.
Peel and thinly slice apples. Store apple slices in the bowl of lemon whilst you work.
Roll out marzipan into a circle to fit your pastry base.
Remove pastry from fridge.
Place marzipan on pastry base.
Starting at the centre, arrange the apple slices overlapping, corkscrew fashion, until you have covered the entire tart.
Sprinkle with flaked almonds.
Place in the oven for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 F and bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and tray. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Heat your apricot jam 20 seconds in the microwave.
Dab the jam, with a brush, all over the tart, to glaze.
Sprinkle with icing sugar.

Serve warm or room temperature with a blob of creme fraiche.

click on the picture to enlarge

*A note about Cooking Apples

Since arriving in the US almost 4 years ago my search for what we, back in England, call cooking apples had been fruitless. Cooking apples are big ugly apples, commonly Bramleys, that can only be used in cooking. To eat them raw would be asking for a serious stomach ache. Their advantage is that they are very sharp and when cooked have a delicious tangy flavour. When I went to Wholefoods to buy my apples for this tart I was overjoyed to find some Newtown Pippin distributed by CF Fresh that resembled my beloved cooking apples. They were about a quarter of the size of the British variety which made them a little annoying to peel and slice, but for the time being I'll put up with that minor irk and just be grateful that apples of this ilk are now more easily available in CA.

The tart sold very well at our bakesale at $3 a slice
Almond Apple Marzipan Tart


  • At 12/11/04 11:07, Blogger debbie koenig said…

    Oh my it's gorgeous! I have some marzipan in my pantry, and some frozen pie dough in the freezer. Now if I just had the sliced almonds...

  • At 12/11/04 11:29, Blogger Delphine said…

    O my godness
    Another suicide by sugar.

    Just looking at your blog and I feel like needing a strict diet. :)

  • At 12/11/04 12:20, Blogger Sam said…

    Debbie - i think you might be able to make it without the almonds sucessfully, but what I like about them is the fact that they hide my shoddy apple-slicing techniques perfectly.

    Del, phew, you just narrowly missed becoming an OMG, (I think - I'll have to check semantics with the boys)


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