It's apple season, and there's nothing more delicious than an apple tart. This one here is so pretty, with the apple slices arranged to look like roses. I use store-bought puff pastry, It isn't difficult to make and makes a great impression.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Put a baking stone in the oven if you have one. Roll out some puff pastry and line a tart tin with it and prick it all over with a fork.
Slice unpeeled dessert apples very thinly using a mandolin or a sharp knife, and put them into a bowl with water and a little lemon juice to stop them from going brown. Once you have sliced all the apples, drain the bowl, and pour over some boiling water. This is to make the apples soft and pliable, so let them soak for about 10 minutes. Drain the apples again, and start building roses out of the slices by layering them into the holes of a mini muffin tin.
To make apple purée, peel and chop up a cooking apple, such as a Bramley, and cook it gently with a tablespoon of sugar, a bit of lemon peel and half a split vanilla pod. Heat this gently until the apple breaks down into a smooth puree. Taste to see if it needs more sugar, but I don't like it to be too sweet. Spread a thin layer of this onto the pastry in the tin.
Arrange the apple roses into the pastry shell, and fill any gaps with spare apple slices. Brush the apples with melted butter and sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of demerara sugar. Bake on the baking stone for about 45 mins until the pastry is golden & puffy and the apples are caramelised. In the meantime, warm some strained apricot jam, and brush this over the apples when you take the tart out of the oven.
Et voilá! Serve with vanilla ice cream. Delicious.