You actually don’t need too much to be a good chef. A handful of basis recipes and knowledge of good products are enough to prepare great dishes. Whoever knows how to recognise the smell of a ripe piece of fruit also knows how to use it in combination with other ingredients. What do you think of when you smell an apple? Aromatically, it’s sweet and fresh and has lively, acidic taste. Regardless of whether you make a simple apple sauce or a fine tart, you don’t need to do too much with an apple in order for to it stand out on the plate.
An apple tart is easy to make: spread 2–3 tablespoons of apple compote onto 270g of rolled-out pastry (leaving a free edge of around 3cm). Mix one egg with milk and brush the edge with it. Peel five apples (e.g. Gala or Golden Delicious), halve them, remove the pips and chop them into the finest slices possible. Lay the slices onto the pastry from the outside in. Bake the tart for around 20 minutes at 200 °C until it takes on some colour and has a nice, crispy base. Remove it from the oven, leave to cool on a baking grid and glaze with warmed quince jelly.
The good thing about apples is that, even if they can be stored and are available throughout the year, they still work well with seasonal products, which is why this apple tart is so changeable:
Apples work well with berries, so you can serve the apple tart in summer with a fresh berry compote or a scoop of wild-fruit sorbet.
You can also combine apples with hearty nuts, so if you want to give an autumn apple tart an additional taste boost, simply sprinkle a handful of grated almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts on the pastry before you add the apple slices.
Vanilla, cloves or cardamom also bring out the best in apples. Simply sprinkle these flavourings on top of the tart as aromatic sugar. Or how about a vanilla crème refined with a little cardamom? Either way, this apple tart is a treat!
Simple and baked as it has always been is often the best of all recipes.