Jun 01 2007
First I make the Pate Sucre. I used to make it by hand on a marble slab gradually drawing all the ingredients together but now we have food processors!
I whizz 200g plain flour, 100g soft butter, 75g caster sugar and three egg yolks in the processor, wrap the paste in cling film and chill for at least an hour before I use it. Even well chilled it is hard to roll, out so I find it easier to dip my knuckles in icing sugar and press it carefully into a loose bottomed flan ring. I chill it again.
I often make a double quantity of pastry, line two fluted flan tins, freeze one and bake one blind. While it cools I make the crème patisserie with 50 grams of butter, icing sugar and, ground almonds and an egg. I spread it over the base of the cool flan case sprinkling it with a teaspoonful of dry semolina.
Next, working fast, I cut red desert apples into thin slices and arranged them in circles on top of the crème patisserie. Every few minutes I squeeze lemon juice on the slices to stop them browning. Then another sprinkling, this time of caster sugar, and back into a hot oven just long enough to soften the apple. Finally I warm some home made redcurrant jelly and carefully “paint” the flan to give a dark red, sticky glaze. I serve the flans warm with double cream or Devonshire clotted cream.