Seasonal Produce: French Apple Tart

Capitalize on the cheap cooking apples this autumn or use your own from the garden and make this delicious French Apple Tart. This adapted recipe is less sweet than the Mary Berry original meaning that there is more room for manoeuvre when choosing a wine match.
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to pairing wine with food, and an often unchartered and easily dismissed territory is that of dessert wines: often the perfect way to compliment your pudding, cheese and fresh fruit.
To match this tasty tart, we need look no further than Fiona Beckett and her fountain of knowledge: “Apple Tarts are one of the most flattering desserts to match with sweet wines.”
So, without further ado, we have chosen the ideal wines to pair with this French Apple Tart (recipe below).
Where better to start than with a classic, traditional sweet wine, Sauternes: 
“French-style apple tarts are a classic partner for fine dessert wines such as Sauternes." Fiona Beckett, from
This excellent value Château Les Justices Sauternes offers up aromas of pineapple, peaches and spring flowers. The palate is balanced beautifully by an almost racy acidity, just what is needed to cut through the sweetness of the apples.

Highly regarded in the world of fine German wines, S. A. Prüm has created a fantastic wine from a classic region: the Riesling Kabinett Mosel. Its low alcohol levels enable the wine to retain its youthful vigour and aromatic perfume, and the fruit of the Riesling is balanced with a refreshing and pronounced acidity. This semi-sweet wine would be a match made in heaven with this not-so-sickly-sweet Apple tart.

This French Apple Tart and wine pairing would not be complete without the addition of Hungary’s iconic Tokaji: Royal Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos. This deliciously sweet wine has notes of apricot and orange peel which are uplifted with dramatic acidity. Quite simply, it would be great with French Apple Tart!

Last, but by no means least, is a dashingly handsome, delicious Rosé Champagne: the Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage Brut NV. Full bodied but fresh and full of fresh blood orange and summer fruit flavours, this truly is delightful, and what an excellent way to top off a delicious meal!

French Apple Tart
This recipe serves 6
For the pastry
175g (6oz) plain flour
75g (3oz) diced butter
1 large egg yolk
Water, if necessary

For the filling
900g (2lb) cooking apples
2 tablespoons water
25g (2oz) caster sugar
Grated rind of ½ lemon
225g (8oz) apples
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
About 1 teaspoon caster sugar, for sprinkling

For the glaze
4 tablespoons apricot jam
1. To make the pastry, measure the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk, stir into the flour mixture with a round-bladed knife, and bring the mixture to a dough, adding a little water if necessary. Knead the pastry very lightly, then wrap and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 200⁰C/Fan 180 degrees C/ Gas 6. To make the apple filling, peel the cooking apples, cut them into quarters, remove the core and chop the apple into chunks (this way you avoid having to sieve the apple mixture later on). Add the prepared apples and water to a large pan. Cover and cook very gently for 10-15 minutes until the apples have become soft and mushy. Add the sugar and grated lemon rind. Cook over a high heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously, until all the excess liquid has evaporated and the apple mixture is thick. Set aside to cool.
3. Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured work surface and use to line a deep 20cm (8 in) deep loose-bottomed fluted flan tin. Cover with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake blind in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes until the pastry at the base of the flan has dried out. Remove from the oven but do not turn off the oven.
4. Spoon the cooled apple purée into the tart case and level the surface. Peel, quarter and core the eating apples, then slice them very thinly. Arrange in neat overlapping circles over the apple purée, brush with the lemon juice and sprinkle with the caster sugar. Return the tart to the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry and the edges of the apples are lightly browned.
5. To make the glaze, sieve the apricot jam into a small pan and heat gently until runny. Brush all over the top of the apples and pastry. Serve warm or cold.
Recipe adapted from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, available to buy here
Wine Pairings
Château Les Justices Sauternes 2007 £14.99
France | Bordeaux
One of the most popular and award-winning wines from Sauternes, owned by the Medeville family who also happened to own Château Gilette, this beautifully sweet wine is a blend of Sémillon, Sauvignon, and a smidgeon of Muscadelle and is a classic match with Christmas pudding. Offering up aromas of pineapple, peaches and spring flowers; the wine is unctuous without being too heavy, the palate balanced beautifully by an almost racy acidity.
Offering up aromas of pineapple, peaches and spring flowers; the wine is unctuous without being too heavy, the palate balanced beautifully by an almost racy acidity. 85% sémillon, 10% sauvignon, 5% muscadelle.
Riesling Kabinett Mosel 2009, S.A. Prüm £12.99
Germany | Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
There can be few names more highly regarded in the world of fine German wines than Prüm and this timeless Kabinett Mosel Riesling is a perpetual darling on the seemingly endless award’s circuit.
Selected from some of their top vineyards in Wehlen, Graach and Zeltingen, located on steep, terraced slopes of classic slate soil, this beautiful Riesling combines the exemplary mouth-watering perfume and fruit of Middle Mosel Riesling with a refreshing and pronounced acidity. The conventionally low-alcohol levels associated with Riesling from this enduringly classic region, enables this wine to retain its youthful vigour and aromatic charm and at a smidgeon below £13 this really is an iconic wine at a very assessable price.
Royal Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2008 £19.99
Hungary | Tokaji
A Regional Trophy winner from Decanter is just one of the numerous awards on this stunning wine’s glittering CV, the Royal Tokaji's 1st growth Nyulászó vineyard are amongst the most championed in the world. As in all aszu wines, the three grape varieties are Furmint, Hárslevelű and Muscat de Lunel and this exceptional Tokaji boasts refreshing honeyed apricot and orange peel flavours which is superbly uplifted by a dramatic acidity and a seductive finish.

Piper-Heidsieck Rosé Sauvage Brut NV £30.00
France | Champagne
The award winning Rosé Champagne from Piper-Heidsieck is dominated by Pinot grapes accounting for about 85% of the blend. Stylish, deep pink in colour and displaying the Piper-Heidsieck hallmark of freshness.
15% of the blend is vinified as a red wine which explains why the wine has such a vibrant deep pink colour. Full bodied and full of fresh blood orange and summer fruit flavours.

Written by: Lucy Prosser

Lucy Prosser 


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