A gift of autumn fruit is a wonderful thing. When a lovely friend delivered a basketful of apples from her garden last week, I knew at once what I was going to do with them. Well some of them anyway! Hiram’s Apple Tart is a Swedish classic and a pudding I adored growing up. Delicious, sweet buttery dessert apples, encased in a shortcrust pastry served with cream is a tempting and seasonal autumn treat.
My mum would make this apple tart frequently in the autumn and winter months. Back then we had a garden full of apple trees, laden with fruit, that needed eating. She would make a batch and pop in the freezer. Very handy for an impromptu gathering of friends and family, so it’s a recipe I simply cannot forget.
Märit Huldt wrote under the pseudonym Hiram. She actually trained as an artist at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm. After winning a food competition, she became a food writer for The National newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in 1955, where she stayed for 25 years. Märit also published many cook books, which she also illustrated with whimsical drawings.
Much as I loved the original recipe as a child (I had a much sweeter tooth then). I have adjusted the recipe to suit my taste. I add less sugar because the dessert apples themselves are sweet. It goes without saying, the sweeter the apple, the sweeter the end result will be. There is a huge difference between a tart Granny Smith to a sweet Gala apple. Also not in the original recipe but I like the addition of lemon. I have played around with other additional ingredients such as cinnamon and chopped nuts.
So if you have a glut of garden apples, I strongly recommend baking this tart, and maybe a few more for the freezer?
Swedish Apple Tart
- 150 g white spelt flour or plain
- 80 g butter cold & diced
- 1 Tbls icing sugar
- 2 Tbls water ice cold
- 3-4 dessert apples i.e. Cox Orange Pippin, Gala weight before peeling 500g
- 100 g butter room temperature
- 2 large free range eggs lightly beaten
- 120 g golden caster sugar
- ½ lemon zest and juice
- 15 g ground almond
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 30 g hazelnuts roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven 175C fan. Place the flour with a pinch of salt in a food processor with the butter, pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Now add the icing sugar and water. Pulse again until a dough forms. Don’t over mix. Remove from the food processor and shape into a ball and place in a freezer bag and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Grease the base of 24cm loose bottom pastry tin. Roll out the pastry and line the tin. Prick the base with a fork and pop in the fridge for 10 minutes. Line the pastry case with baking paper and baking beans. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then remove the beans and bake for a further 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
- Place the butter in a the bowl with the sugar. Beat with an electric whisk until really light and fluffy. Add the egg a little at a time, then fold in the ground almond. Peel and coarsely grate the apples. Add to the butter mixture with the lemon juice and zest (with the cinnamon and nuts if using). Stir it all together. Pour into the baked pastry case and place in the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden in colour. Cool for 15 minutes then dust with icing sugar. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.