When I was in my 20s, I travelled from Australia to Wales, where I was born, and hitched through the snow to meet the people who’d been my neighbours when I was a kid. We were talking food at the kitchen table when a man knocked on the door and offered us two pheasants. I gutted and cooked the pheasants, and did a rough job on both counts. However, we ate this simple and delicious tart, and my former neighbours gave me their recipe.
- 1 large orange, zested, juiced
- 180 g caster sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 large Granny Smith apples, cored
- icing sugar, to dust
- double cream and candied orange peel (see Note), to serve
- 125 g unsalted butter, softened
- 60 g caster sugar
- 250 g (1⅔ cups) plain flour
- 2 egg yolks
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 1 hour and 30 minutes
You will need a 35 cm x 12 cm tart pan with removable base for this recipe.
To make pastry, process butter with sugar in a food processor until pale. Pulse in the flour, then add the egg yolks and 1 tbsp iced water, pulsing until just combined. Scrape out of the machine, press into a ball and enclose in plastic wrap. Rest for about an hour in the fridge.
Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or baking paper and line a 35 cm x 12 cm tart pan or a 22 cm-diameter round pan with removable base. Rest for a further 30 minutes in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 220°C. Strain the orange juice and place in a bowl with the zest, sugar and eggs, mixing well. Grate the apples, squeezing to drain excess liquid, then stir apples into the orange mixture. Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 200°C and bake for a further 25 minutes or until set. Cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve at room temperature, perhaps with a dollop of cream and candied orange peel.
• Candied orange peel is available from specialist food shops.
Photography Alan Benson.