When I saw this recipe of Francois-Xavier's for Normandy Apple Pie I was smitten. It wasn't just that his photography was so stunning, it was also the idea of an all-in-one apple tart.
I love the sort of French open-faced apple tart that has a rich shortcrust shell, a smear of apple puree and then slices of apples and an apricot jam glaze, but that sort of thing is a bit involved. It takes lots of bowls, a lot of time and quite a bit of patience. And as I have mentioned before, my pastry isn't my most attractive feature.
So this recipe really is genius. It is almost like an apple toad-in-the-hole (or, more attractively, an apple clafoutis).
An eggy, vanilla-y batter is mixed with sliced apples and baked. Then a frosting of butter, sugar and egg is spread over the hot pie and returned to the oven.
Then you eat it. Warm.
It was good. I used Granny Smiths, but it was amazing how their flavour got swamped by eggyness. I think a sharper apple would be better, but the texture of Bramleys would be wrong. Not sure what the better option would be.
I used muscovado sugar in the frosting, which cooked to a magnificent caramelly glaze - very happy with that.
I think making it again I would probably add a grating of nutmeg to the first batter - it just needed a little something else.
You could serve icecream or custard with it, but I don't think it needs anymore sweetness or egg. All it needs is very cold cream, in the quantity recently referred to on Dexter as "A metric fuck-tonne".