I know that I am not the only Capetonian who did a little dance of joy when the rain started on Sunday night. It was such a relief after the heat wave that has been stifling us. You could almost hear the garden greedily slurping up those much needed raindrops! It is still pretty warm though, and that got me thinking about this dish which my family loves to enjoy when that summer feeling is in the air and also in the colder months.
We are going fresh and fruity this week with a gorgeous tart that is as delicious warm from the oven doused in vanilla custard as it is cold with a large dollop of cream or ice cream. This recipe is also ideal if you do not feel like fiddling with pastry – it is made with the easiest, most forgiving pastry I have ever made. If you are looking to reinforce your status as a domestic god(dess) then I can highly recommend giving it a go.
Cook’s notes: This dough can be made up the day before. Be sure to wrap it very well in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge overnight. Vanilla paste adds a delicious flavour to the dough but is not essential if you do not have any in the pantry.
CARAMEL APPLE and BLUEBERRY TART
Makes 1 x 24cm pie
For the pastry:
125g butter, softened
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla paste (optional)
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of fine salt
For the filling:
1/3 cup fresh blueberries
4 tbsp castor sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 large apples (about 400g)
100ml dulce de leche / caramel topping
extra dulce de leche / caramel for drizzling
Step 1.) Make the pastry by creaming the butter and castor sugar together in a bowl. Add the egg and vanilla paste and mix in. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix to make a soft dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Step 2.) Preheat your oven to 180°C and grease a 24cm pie dish. Combine the blueberries, castor sugar and lemon juice in a bowl.
Step 3.) Peel, core and halve the apples, then cut into thin slices. Add these to the blueberry mix and stir.
Step 4.) Take the dough out of the fridge and keep approximately 80g aside. Dust your work surface with flour and roll the rest of the dough into a rough 26cm circle. Lift the circle and gently push it into your greased dish so that the dough goes up the sides. Keep any excess dough / trimmings and add it to the 80g that you set aside earlier.
Step 5.) Spread the dulce de leche over the base of the tart. Add the apple filling in an even layer. Grate the remaining dough over the apple filling (use a chunky grate).
Step 6.) Pop the tart in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes until the pastry is golden. Allow to cool slightly, then use a small piping bag or spoon to drizzle dulce de leche over the top. (If serving cold you can wait until the tart is completely cold before drizzling.)
Serving suggestion: the tart can be served warm or cold with cream, ice-cream or custard, (or on its own). Dust with icing sugar before serving.