Recipe: Apple, verjuice and honey tart

15m prep
30m cook

The first days of Autumn might inspire feelings of melancholy among beach-goers, but for foodies the turn of another calendar page marks the opportunity to explore a whole new world of produce.

Tomatoes begin to be replaced by hardier fair like squash and zucchini, while in the orchard stone fruit give way to apples and pears.

In-season apples are a baker’s best friend, deployed with delicious results in cakes, tarts, pies, crumbles and plenty of other sweet (and savoury) applications. With just a little added sweetness, a touch of acidity and a hint of herbs or spices, this deceptively simple fruit becomes a masterpiece.

This recipe, inspired by Maggie Beer’s beautiful tart recipe, balances the fruity sharpness of verjuice with the aromatic sweetness of honey, a hint of rosemary helping bring out the flavour of the straight-from-the-tree apples.

We always believe in using the finest ingredients you can access, but in this instance the quality of your puff pastry is particularly important. Ask your nearest The Essential Ingredient store for their favourite.

Ingredients

Serves 6
4-5 apples (we used Granny Smith)
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp verjuice View
2 tbsp honey View
1 sprig rosemary
2-3 sprigs thyme
1 sheet good quality puff pastry

Preheat your oven to 180C.

Peel the apples and cut three ‘cheeks’ off each, taking care to avoid including any of the core in the slice (trim if necessary). You can cut shallow scoring lines into the apples at this point if you like.

Melt the butter in a cast iron or non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, then add the apples, rosemary and thyme, flipping the apples occasionally until they just start to soften.

Add the verjuice and honey, and continue to sauté the apples for 4-5 minutes, flipping occasionally to ensure they stay well covered with liquid.

Cut your puff pastry into a circle or rectangle that will fit a baking tray lined with baking paper. Carefully remove the apples from the pan and arrange them over the pastry.

Simmer the liquid in the pan for a few minutes until thick, then remove from the heat. Use a pastry brush to gently coat the apples with the verjuice, honey and butter glaze.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pastry and apples have browned (coating once more with the glaze half-way through).

Sprinkle with additional thyme and rosemary leaves and serve with vanilla ice cream.

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