I wanted something a little less involved than Tart Tatin but would still give me the similar feeling of crisp buttery pastry topped with rich caramelised apples.
In this slice I've used a shortbread like base that's been given a little extra crunch through the addition of walnuts - while its filling is made from Granny Smith Apples that are simply tossed through a quick caramel. To soak up any molten caramel or apple juices as the slice cooks, the surface has been sprinkled with leftover base mixture.
[Makes 1 - 8x12 inch/20x30cm slice]
For the filling:
Granny smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into eights
60 grams soft brown sugar
30 grams butter, diced
For the base/topping:
150 grams softened butter, cut into cubes
80 grams caster sugar
250 grams plain flour
50 grams walnuts, finely chopped
50 grams walnuts, roughly chopped
Make the base:
Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the flour and finely chopped walnuts and beat until just combined. Set 100 grams of this mix to one side.
Line the base of your baking tray with baking paper. Crumble the mix over the top and then press down to form a flat, even base.
Bake in a pre-heated 160°C oven for about 5 minutes. While this is cooking, make the caramel.
Make the caramel:
Put the butter and brown sugar into a saucepan and place over a low heat - stir constantly until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved to form a homogenous mixture. Remove from the heat and stir through the prepared apples, making sure they are evenly coated.
Remove the base from the oven and arrange the caramel apples evenly over the top - make sure you spoon over any excess caramel.
Take the reserved base mix and stir through the roughly chopped walnuts. Sprinkle this loosely over the apples and return to the oven.
Bake for about 35 to 45 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Allow the slice to cool completely in the tin before removing. Once cold it will slice quite easily without any risk of crumbling.