• 1½ lbs of sweet apples
  • 3 tablespoons of vanilla sugar
  • 2ozs unsalted butter
  • 8ozs plain flour
  • 3½ ozs of butter


Peel, core and slice the apples. Cook gently with the vanilla sugar – in batches if your pan is small – in the unsalted butter.

You are looking for pale and golden, not crisp and brown. Turn them gently so as not to break them.

Make a sweetened shortcrust pastry with the flour and butter, adding a pinch of salt. Add three teaspoons of white sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of ice cold water and knead to a firm dough.

When it comes together in a ball cover in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least two hours. Longer will not hurt.

Roll it out into an 8 inch buttered flan tin of the type with a detachable bottom. Preheat oven to 200 C.

Brush pastry edges with thin cream or milk and arrange the cooled apple slices in a pretty concentric circle pattern across it. Reserve the buttery cooking juices.

Bake for for 30-35 minutes, turning the tin round once during cooking. Remove from oven, pour in the buttery juices and add a sprinkling of sugar across the top. Pop back into the oven for a minute or two. Serve hot or cold, as you wish, with or without cream.

A small shot glass of Calvados added to the apples as they cook gives a nice boozy kick to the tart if only being consumed by adults.