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"This is a traditional tart eaten in Naples at Easter," says Ingram. "The legend goes that a mermaid called Parthenope in the Gulf of Napoli would sing to celebrate the arrival of spring each year. One year, to say thank you, the Neapolitans offered her gifts of ricotta, flour, eggs, wheat, perfumed orange flowers and spices. She took them to her kingdom under the sea, where the gods made them into a cake. I love to add nibs of chocolate to Parthenope cake because I think it marries nicely with the candied orange and sultanas, but, really, do you need an excuse to add chocolate to anything?" Start this recipe a day ahead to prepare the pastry and soak the sultanas.

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Rhubarb and apple pie with warm cinnamon custard


You'll need

100 gm butter, coarsely chopped 1.2 kg (about 6) Granny Smith apples, cored, thickly sliced 1 kg rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces 520 gm raw caster sugar 4 cinnamon quills 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped Juice and finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon 60 gm fresh fine white breadcrumbs 1 egg, lightly beaten, for brushing 20 gm demerara sugar ½ tsp ground cinnamon   Vanilla pastry 450 gm (3 cups) plain flour 120 gm (¾ cup) pure icing sugar, sieved 225 gm cold butter, coarsely chopped Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean 1 egg 1 egg yolk   Cinnamon custard 450 ml pouring cream 50 ml fortified dessert wine 3 cinnamon quills, coarsely crumbled 5 egg yolks 85 gm raw caster sugar

Method

  • 01
  • For vanilla pastry, process flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine, add butter and vanilla seeds and pulse until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add egg and yolk, pulse until mixture just comes together, turn onto a lightly floured surface and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (2 hours).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add apple and stir occasionally until edges begin to soften (3-4 minutes). Add rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean and vanilla seeds and stir occasionally until beginning to soften (6-8 minutes). Stir in citrus juices and rinds and strain through a sieve (reserve liquid separately; discard vanilla bean and cinnamon quills). Spread on a tray, cool to room temperature, stir in breadcrumbs, set aside.
  • 03
  • Simmer reserved rhubarb liquid in a small saucepan until reduced to a thin syrup (10-15 minutes), set aside.
  • 04
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Roll two-thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick, line a 23cm-diameter, 4cm-deep pie tin, trim edges, refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).
  • 05
  • Meanwhile, roll out remaining pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 3mm-thick round, cut a 1.5cm round from centre (discard), place on a tray and refrigerate until required.
  • 06
  • Spoon rhubarb mixture into tart case, piling high in the centre, brush edges of pastry with eggwash and place pastry round on top, pressing edges with a fork to seal. Brush top with eggwash, scatter with combined demerara sugar and cinnamon, bake until dark golden (45 minutes-1 hour; cover edges with foil if necessary to prevent burning) and stand in tin to rest (20 minutes).
  • 07
  • Meanwhile, for cinnamon custard, bring cream, wine and cinnamon to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, remove from heat and stand to infuse (5 minutes). Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale, add cream mixture, whisk to combine. Return to pan, stir over medium heat until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon thickly (4-5 minutes). Strain and serve warm with warm rhubarb and apple pie and rhubarb syrup.

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Featured in

Jun 2011

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