Apfelkuchen

GERMAN APPLE AND CUSTARD TART

An unusual apple tart from Bavaria, Apfelkuchen (AHP-fehl-KOO-khen) is a combination of apples, rum, eggs and cream.

6 SERVINGS PASTRY

6 oz. flour

3 oz. unsalted butter

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon castor sugar grated rind of

1 lemon

PILLING

1 oz. breadcrumbs mixed with

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 lb. cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly

1 tablespoons currants soaked in

2 tablespoons rum

CUSTARD whole egg plus

1 yolk

1 tablespoons castor sugar

10 fl. oz. double cream

1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

For the pastry, sift the flour into a mixing bowl. With a knife, cut in the chilled butter until it forms small pieces.

Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and lemon rind. With a spoon, mix in the egg yolks one at a time. Then, using your hands, work the pastry until it is smooth.

Line a cake tin which is about 74-inches in diameter, 2-inches deep and has a removable bottom, with the pastry, using your fingers to press it evenly into the bottom and sides.

To fill the tart crust, first spread the breadcrumb and melted butter mixture on the bottom. Place the apples on top.

Remove the currants from the rum and put the rum aside. Sprinkle the currants over the apples. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

Reset the oven to warm 300°F (Gas Mark 1, 150°C).

To make the custard, beat the eggs and sugar with a whisk until thick. Beat in the rum and cream. Pour half the mixture evenly over the apples. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the custard is set. Pour the remaining custard over the top and bake for 30 minutes more.

Remove the tart from the oven and reset to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). Sprinkle the t,op of the tart with the sugar. Place the tart on the topmost rack of the oven and brown lightly for about 10 minutes. Let the tart cool. Carefully remove from the cake tin before serving.

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