Caramelized Apple Tarts

The combination of hot caramelized apples, crisp pastry and cold cinnamon ice-cream is texturally as interesting as it is good to eat.

Ingredients

  • about 15 g/ ½ oz icing sugar
  • 500 g/ 1 lb2 oz bought puff pastry
  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

For the Cinnamon Ice-Cream

  • 700 ml/ pt milk
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 115 g/ 4 oz caster sugar
  • 450 ml/ ¾ pint double cream

Method

Bring water to a simmer in a saucepan over which you can place a bowl to cook the custard for the ice-cream.

Put the milk and cinnamon sticks in another pan and bring to the boil slowly over a low heat.

Whisk 6 of the egg yolks and the sugar together in a metal or glass bowl, until the mixture is pale and ribboned. Pour the scalded milk through a sieve on to this mixture, whisking to incorporate.

Put the bowl over the simmering water and cook, stirring, until the custard coats the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat and, when cooled to warm, whisk in the double cream.

Put in an ice-cream-maker and churn until set, about 15–20 minutes. Transfer to a plastic box with a lid and freeze.

Ideally, eat within 24 hours, removing from the freezer 10–15 minutes before serving.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ gas 6. Scatter the icing sugar on a work surface and roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of about 6 mm / ¼ inch, scattering on more icing sugar as you roll to stop it sticking. Cut out four 15-cm / 6-inch circles.

Incise a circle 3 mm / inch deep, about 1 cm / ½ inch in from the edge, and place on a baking sheet.

Peel, quarter and core the apples, and slice them thinly on a mandolin. Arrange the slices overlapping to cover the inner circle. Brush the pastry rim with a little beaten yolk and bake for 15–20 minutes.

Remove from the oven, scatter the brown sugar over the apple slices and caramelize with a blow torch or under the grill.

Serve the tarts with a scoop of cinnamon ice-cream to the side or on top of each.

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