As summer ebbs into autumn, it's dishes like this which make me feel so joyous about the onset of the seasons. The dash of spices really elevate it to being something quite special -- our Sri Lankan cinnamon brings sweetness to tart cooking apples, and the Mexican allspice brings a savoury edge to sweet mincemeat, helping balance out the flavours and make it an aromatic feast.
250g plain flour
50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter
1 large free-range egg, beaten
(Optional: splash of cold milk)
3 large cooking apples
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eating apples
Make the pastry
Sieve the plain flour and icing sugar into a mixing bowl, then cut the butter into small cubes and either use your fingertips to rub it into a breadcrumb-like texture or use a K-beater. Once the texture has been achieved, add the egg and work the mix until it forms a ball. If extra liquid is needed, add a splash of milk.
Dust a worksurface with plain flour and roll out the pastry. Next, press the pastry into a greased tart case and refrigerate. (Optional: blind bake before continuing with the steps below).
Meanwhile, peel and core the apples, then cut them into rough chunks. Put them in a saucepan with half the lemon juice, a splash of water and sugar. Cook at a low temperature until the apples breakdown and fall apart at the touch of a fork. Beat the apples into a thick compote and season with the cinnamon.
Mix the allspice into the mincemeat, and then spread it over the base of the tart. Top with the apple compote. Finally, put the remaining lemon juice in a bowl and cut the eating apple into slivers – putting them in the bowl as you go, so they get a light coating with lemon juice to stop them from browning. Arrange the apple slices in a cartwheel on the top of the tart, and bake for 25 minutes at 180C.