This week it's Bramley apple week (2nd to 8th February), so I've been busily cooking up lots of recipes using these deliciously tart apples. Bramley apples have a higher acid content and lower sugar levels than eating apples, which produces a stronger, tangier tasting apple whose flavour is retained when cooking. I love using Bramley apples in cooking as they 'melt' down, and are great for making apple sauce too.
The smell of freshly peeled Bramleys always reminds me of my childhood visits to a friend of my dads. He lived with his mum and she would either be in the kitchen baking an apple pie or picking fruit and vegetables from her garden when we visited on a Sunday.
These savoury tarts have a herby apple puree on the base, topped with cheese and bacon, which is a really tasty combination. They are easy to make using ready made (unsweetened) Bramley apple sauce, although it's really simple to make your own.
Bramley Apple, Cheese & Bacon Tarts - makes 4 tarts
2 Bramley apples
tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp water
320g sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
75g Wensleydale, grated
4 rashers dry cured streaky bacon, each cut into 3 pieces
pinch of dried thyme
- Peel, core and chop the apples
- Add them to a saucepan with the vinegar, 2 tsp thyme and water
- Place the lid on & heat gently for around 10 minutes, until the apple has cooked down to a sauce. set aside
- Lay the pastry sheet out and cut into four
- Score each sheet approx 1cm from the edge and prick the centre gently with a fork
- Spoon some apple sauce onto each sheet of pastry and smooth to the edges
- Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce, and top with the bacon and sprinkle with a little thyme
- Bake in a preheated 200C oven for approx 25 minutes