So it has been a while! And here I am with probably the longest post so far. But for a very good reason: a new and improved puff pastry for tarts recipe (here is the old one) and some delicious apple tarts. The husband loves these tarts. We had some the last time we were in Portugal, which naturally prompted me to answer the question: can I make this at home? Well I can and so can you. Yes it takes forever, but I think it's totally worth the effort. Plus, if you don't feel like making the puff pastry yourself, you can always use the store bought kind.
I got the recipe for the puff pastry from "Cozinha Tradicional Portuguesa", as part of the Portuguese egg custard recipe (which I plan to try in the near future). It is definitely better than the one from "Pantagruel" that I shared before, that's for sure. The pastry cream was from "Pantagruel" and everything else was common sense. I believe the apple tarts you find in Portugal are shinier because they use some sort of special glaze. Unfortunately I couldn't find it in Denmark and had to improvise!
For the puff pastry:
- 250g (2 cups and 1 heaped tablespoon) flour
- 250g (1 cup and 1 tablespoon) butter
- 1-1.5dl (a little over 1/3 cup to a little less than 2/3 cups) lukewarm water
- 3g (0.11oz) salt
For the pastry cream:
- 38g (1/3 cup) flour
- 100g (1/2 cup) sugar
- 250ml (a little over 1 cup) milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the tarts:
- 2 Royal Gala apples (they don't get too soft when baked)
- apricot jam
- juice of half a lemon
For the puff pastry
Start by dissolving the salt in the lukewarm water and divide the butter in three equal parts (leaving the butter in the fridge afterwards). Place the flour on your countertop and make a well in the middle. Place the water in the well and slowly bring the flour towards the middle with a fork. If the dough is too dry add more water. Work the dough until it all comes together. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Flour your work surface and roll out the dough so that you have a square. Place thin slices of one third of the butter (one of the three parts you cut before), leaving a two-fingers margin around the square. Bring the bottom side up and make sure the edges of the square are overlapping.
Bring the right side to the left, making sure the edges of the square overlap. Roll out the dough again, forming a square. Place the dough and the remaining butter in the fridge for 10 minutes. Repeat the process 2 more times and your puff pastry is ready to use. Leave the dough in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
For the pastry cream
Beat the eggs with the sugar in a pan until the mixture turns pale. Add the flour mixing well.
And then add the boiling milk. Put the pan on your stove top at a medium-low temperature and continue mixing until it boils. In the end you should have a somewhat thick mixture. Remove from the stove and add the vanilla.
Peel the apples and slice them thinly. Temporarily place them in a bowl with fresh water and some juice from a lemon.
Roll out your puff pastry until it is 3-4mm (0.12-0.16in) thick. Cut it in rectangles with the width of your apples plus nearly 1cm (0.4in) on each side. Place the puff pastry rectangles in a floured baking tray and spread some pastry cream (2 tablespoons). Place the apple slices overlapping on top of the cream, leaving 1cm (0.4in) all around the rectangle.
Bake in a preheated oven to 200ºC (395ºF) for 20 minutes or until it turns golden.
The tarts will look a little bland and that's when the apricot jam comes in to give a little shine. I used joyofbaking.com recipe, where you basically heat up some apricot jam with a tablespoon of water.
Brush the tarts with the mixture and and they're ready!
Let them cool down before serving.
For a print friendly version visit this recipe at my Recipes page.