February 14th, 2009


Spelt Russet Apple Slice

The nutty wholemeal rich spelt shortbread base is a pure melt in the mouth delight. I spent a cold grey Friday wandering the streets of London looking for inspiration. I searched the stalls of Borough market and found these delightful russet apples along with the spelt flour from Sharpenham Park. I wish I could describe the aromas and fragrances that escaped from the oven as I removed this tart,  absolutely divine. The russet apple compote recipe is a little gem in itself and is ideal to be squeezed into freshly baked doughnuts and profiteroles.

The Spelt Shortbread Paste makes perfect spelt and semolina shortbread biscuits, topped with a crunchy semolina and sugar topping, ideal for dunking in that perfect cup of tea. The versatility, lightness and whole grain goodness of this recipe is remarkable. I am very proud of developing this recipe, one I shall treasure forever.

apple_compote2Spelt Shortbread Paste
  • 225g spelt flour
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 100g corn flour
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Place the spelt flour, corn flour, icing sugar, ground cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter into small cubes, add the butter to the flour and use a paddle attachment of the mixer, set the mixer on low spread and mix until all the butter has been rubbed in to the flour and it comes together. Do not overwork the pastry, as it will make the paste tough and elastic.

Divide the shortbread paste in to two even sized blocks, wrap well in cling film and rest the shortbread paste for one hour in the fridge.

Once you are ready to make the tart remove the shortbread paste from the fridge and let it come to room temperature, roll the shortbread out to 1cm thick, line a tart tin ,35cm long x 11cm wide x 2.5cm deep ,with parchment paper, cut the shortbread to line the bottom only. Gently place the short bread in the base of the tart tin.

  • apples_spelt80g Russet Apple Compote
  • 2 whole russet apples, cored removed
  • ½ lemon juice only
  • 1tbs unrefined caster sugar
  • icing sugar
  • 1tbs chopped pistachio nuts

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Spread the Russet Apple compote on top of the Spelt Shortbread Paste leaving a 1cm border. Use a wide sharp mandolin to slice the cored apples 3mm thick, sprinkle the lemon juice over the apples once sliced.

Arrange the apples on top of the russet apple puree; sprinkle the unrefined castor sugar over the sliced apples. Place the Spelt Russet Apple tart in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Once cooked, remove the tart from the oven, heavily dust the tart with the icing sugar and chopped pistachio nuts. Let the tart cool completely before gently removing the tart from the tray.

Makes 6 generous slices

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One Comment to “Spelt Russet Apple Slice”

  1. Cheffer Shauna says:

    I tried this recipe this afternoon and came across this lovely blog in my quest to find out more about the Russet Apple, which I think is a work of art in itself with it’s chalky caramel coat and russet-ness. The finished tart tasted delicious and would have been a triumph if the length of it made it so fragile. I did some forward thinking and cooked it on bake o’glide using a baking tray upside down but it still cracked in a couple of places transferring it onto a dead flat serving platter for presentation to my clients–who still oooohed and aughed. I’ll certainly be using the spelt shortbread recipe on its own just as a lovely biscuit and the compote is an absolute winner too. But I think I might do a smaller version of the same tart to avoid that incredibly short and delicious base from cracking. Russet apples are an unsung hero, mine came from 15 miles from my home and look so autumny in a fruit bowl.

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