I was looking through a pile of food magazines the other day - foodie nerds do this in their spare time - for something to make for Halloween, and I came across this recipe and just had to share it with you.
It’s easy, cheap, fun and delicious.
It’s essentially a jam and apple tart but the addition of those spooky icing eyes makes it fun and a visual treat. This is my version of the recipe.
It even got a laugh from a grumpy cook!
2 ready rolled sheets of all butter puff pastry (350g per pack) Approx 200g of good strawberry jam 1-2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced (I used Pink Lady) 1 egg, beaten for egg wash 1 tbsp golden caster sugar Icing eyes (see recipe below)
Place one sheet of pastry on a flat, floured surface and transfer onto a cutting board lined with baking parchment. Keep the other sheet chilled in the fridge.
With a small palette knife or something similar, spread the jam down the centre of the pastry leaving about 2cm around the edges (see pic 1).
Lay the sliced apples on top of the jam, overlapping slightly to give 2 vertical lines of apple (see pic 2). Any apples slices left, just eat.
Take the other chilled sheet of pastry onto a floured surface and cut across the width into 1cm strips.
Lay the strips across the jam/apple pastry sheet but not all uniform and straight. Place some at an angle and even break some in two. Be creative and imagine you’re bandaging an Egyptian mummy, remembering to leave little spaces for your ‘eyes’.
Press the pastry strips onto the edges of the main jam/apple pastry sheet to lightly stick them down (see pic 3).
With a sharp knife, trim the edges all round so they are neat and tidy.
Put the ‘bandaged’ tart in the fridge to chill for about half an hour while you make the ‘eyes’.
For the 'eyes', get some white and black ready to roll icing (I used Renshaws) and roll some little balls of white icing and put on a tray lined with baking parchment. Press very lightly on them to flatten them slightly, although bulging eyes looking at you are very funny.
Roll out tiny balls of the black icing for the pupils, and place onto the white eyeball. Again, press very gently to flatten slightly. (see pic 4).
Position the pupils wherever you like, to have eyes looking up, down, left or right. Or even crossed eyed.
Leave them on the baking paper to dry out a little while you turn the oven onto 200℃/180℃ fan.
Put a baking tray in the oven to get hot. This is what the tart will be going on and the hot tray will prevent the dreaded ‘soggy bottom’
Remove the tart from the fridge and brush the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the sugar.
Quickly and carefully slide the tart (with the baking parchment) onto the hot baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until a lovely golden brown colour.
Let it cool for about 5 minutes and start placing your ‘eyes’ into the little spaces between the pastry ‘bandages’. Be inventive and have some fun with where you put them.
Serve warm, cut into slices or wedges but mind those eyes!