This classic Normandie dessert combines a delicately sweet almond cream and caramelizewd apples, a surefire winning combo!
Preheat the oven to 180'C.
Make the almond cream: place the sugar, butter, ground almonds and flour in a food processor. Add the eggs and mix until you have a smooth paste. Set aside
Quarter and peel the apples, then remove the core. Cut each quarter into half again, and set aside.
In a clean pan, caramelise the caster sugar over high heat until lightly golden. Add the butter, and stir to incorporate.
Stir in the apples into the caramel, and make sure each piece is covered in caramel.
Add the Calvados, and stop stiring. If you are cooking on a gas hob, gently tilt the pan so that the alcohol vapours catch fire. If you are using an electric hob, keep stiring the caramel until the alcohol burns off,; alternatively, you can use a blow torch or a lighter to flambee the Calvados.
Remove fromt he heat, and transfer to a cold bowl.
Mix together the flour, butter, egg, icing sugar and the seeds from a whole vanilla pod in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Remove and roll out between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry to 5mm thick and cut a circle 3cm larger than the tart case. Line the tart case with pastry, and remove any excess from the egde. If the pastry has softened too much, return to the refrigerator to rest.
Weigh down the pastry with 2 layers of cling film and some baking beans. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and then remove the cling film and beans. Return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes until golden brown.
Fill the tart case with the caramelized apples, and pour or dollop the almond cream over them.Be careful not to overfill. Return the filled tart to the oven and cook for 25 minutes until the frangipane is firm to touch and golden brown on top.
Serve warm or cold, along with some ice cream or whipped cream.
«You can substitute braeburn apples for any apple that will keep their shape during the caramelisation process, such as Russets or cox.»