Pack extra flavour into your apple tart with a variety of apples.
For the pastry, rub the flour, sugar, vanilla seeds and butter together with your fingertips unltil the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively, pulse the ingredients in a food processor.
Lightly beat the whole egg and stir it onto the flour mixture with a spoon. Turn the mixture out onto a floured work surface and bring together to form a dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Lightly grease a 20cm/8in loose-bottomed tart tin. Place a baking sheet in the middle shelf of the oven.
Roll out the pastry into a 23cm/9in circle about 3mm thick. Gently roll the pastry around the rolling pin, then unroll the pastry on top of the tart tin, leaving about 2.5cm/1in of pastry overhanging around the edges. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Line the pastry case with a cartouche of greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans, or dried beans or rice. Place the tin onto the preheated baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes, then remove the paper with the beans and bake the pastry case for a further 4-5 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown.
Remove the tart case from the oven and carefully trim off the overhanging pastry, then brush the inside of the case with the egg yolk. Place back into the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Reduce the oven temperature to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
For the filling, peel, core and roughly slice the bramley apples. Place the slices in a pan with about 1 tablespoon of water. Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until the apples are soft. Sweeten with sugar to taste.
Transfer the cooked apples to a food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Spoon the purée into the bottom of the pastry case, smoothing out the top.
Peel, core and thinly slice the noble apples and arrange over the bramley apple purée in a concentric circle.
In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks, whole egg and honey.
Place the double cream into a small heavy-based pan and bring to the boil. Whisk the warm cream into the egg mixture until smooth and well combined. Pour the custard mixture into the pastry case, over the apple slices, and bake for 20 minutes, until the mixture has set and is golden-brown.
To serve, melt the butter in a non-stick pan until foaming and add the apple slices, spices and sugar. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar begins to caramelised, then add a splash of brandy. Remove from the heat and serve along slices of the apple custard tart with a dollop of whipped cream.
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