Makes 12 squares
100g butter 200g plain flour 175g caster sugar 1 egg yolk 1tsp vanilla essence 600g eating apples 2tbsp granulated sugar 100g apricot jam or redcurrant jelly
These are also equally delicious when made with plums, pears or peaches.
Place the butter and flour in a large bowl, then rub the butter into the flour by pinching and lifting the mixture until in resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar with a wooden or metal spoon, then add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Stir again until he mixture comes together in a soft dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30min. Peel, core and thickly slice the apples, half fill a bowl with water and a splash of vinegar, add the apple slices and then set aside (the acidualted water will prevent the apples from turning brown). Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface or if it is very crumbly simply press into the base of a 20x30cm baking tin. Drain the apples slices and discard the water. Pat the apples dry with kitchen paper and then lay the slices out in neat rows on top of the pastry, pressing down lightly. Sprinkle with the granulated sugar and bake at 180C for 45min or until the apples are cooked through an the pastry is golden and crisp. Then set aside to cool. Meanwhile place the apricot jam in a small saucepan with 2tbsp water. Bring to the boil and then spoon or brush over the apple tart and leave to cool and set. Cut into squares.
Did you know?
These apple squares are very similar to ones that I have eaten and enjoyed in wonderful coffee houses in Vienna. These are really relaxed places where you can sit, drink coffee, eat cake and read the papers or just watch the world go by. The Viennese say that in the coffee houses ‘time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill!”