Grab your nearest and dearest, some odd assorted candles in odd assorted candleholders, and settle down for a warming supper that pays homage to the start of autumn.
"The flavour of the cardamom transforms this simple apple tart."
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
3 cardamom pods
juice of 1 orange
4 tablespoons soft brown sugar
4 apples (about 650g)
200g puff pastry
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350ºF/gas mark 4.
2. Crush the cardamom pods and keep the little seeds. In a saucepan heat the orange juice, sugar, butter and cardamom seeds until thick and bubbly. Pour the syrup into a 25cm flan tin (obviously it cannot be one with a push-out bottom or
it will seep though and go everywhere).
3. Quarter the apples and cut out the cores. Cut each quarter into thin slices and arrange symmetrically on top of the syrup in the flan tin.
4. Roll out your pastry and lay it over the top of the apples in the tin. Cut off the excess around the edges. Sprinkle a little more sugar on top if you like.
5. Place the tin in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry has risen and is golden. Put a serving plate on top, hold it tightly and flip the whole thing over. Tap the bottom of the tin to ensure that all the apple slices are on the plate, and
remove it. A magically neat and tidy tart will appear.
- Serve with cream or homemade custard.
- This is one of those versatile recipes. You can use almost any fruit - pears, plums, apricots, nectarines, peaches and oranges all work well. You can also play with the syrup: try a red wine syrup with star anise and plums.
- White wine, vanilla and nectarine make a subtle combination; with oranges, try using shortcrust pastry and a really treacly syrup made with a little molasses as well as sugar.
- When using soft fruit in this tart it is better if the fruit is slightly under-ripe. Published by Conran Octopus Leon book 2, Naturally Fast Food is on sale September 6th and costs £20.