Irish Apple Tart. Memories of my Grandmother.


I’d forgotten how much I love Irish Apple Tart until I made this delicious dish again. 

I often find pastry making a little tedious but this Tart is so forgiving, so simple and virtually impossible to mess up. 

Apart from ensuring the butter is as cold as possible (I pop it in the freezer and grate it into the flour) there is no stress worrying that the pastry will crimp nicely, make pretty patterns on the top, or pull away from the sides of the pie dish! 

It’s meant to be rustic, meant to look imperfect and meant to taste utterly delicious.

It is the ultimate dessert of dreams!

Perfectly Imperfect. 



One bite of this Tart and I am once again a 10 year old girl sitting in my Grandmother’s tiny kitchen where she would make pastry in the flash of an eye.

Her hands worked so fast and deftly that you had to concentrate very hard to follow exactly how she did it! She measured nothing, just took handfuls of flour, cold butter and water, miraculously churning out the most incredible pastry I have ever tasted.

She made perfectly layered puff pastry (no mean feat when she didn’t possess a fridge for chilling, just an outside window ledge where her packs of butter sat in a row) with little fuss and little exertion.     

I laugh when I read books and articles on mastering difficult pastry because I believe some people are just gifted in this regard and don’t follow any rules, they simply follow instinct and a natural talent around the process. 



She truly was one of those iconic Grandmothers.

She had a very hard life and wasn’t wealthy but was rich in love.

Always humming a tune, always cooking or baking with a patterned housecoat on and always spoiling her grandchildren.  

With little money she managed to create delicious nutritious meals and the most incredible Apple Tarts that would stand up to the scrutiny of the most accomplished pastry chefs. 

She was special, she was selfless and she was inspiring.



I now make Apple Tart for my family to recapture the wonderful feeling I experienced when surrounded by my Grandmother, Granddad and my siblings as we ate warm Apple Tart with pouring cream.

No other Tart compares.

No other Tart evokes such wonderful childhood memories as the first taste of this warm delicious buttery Tart.

All is right with the world when I look at this Golden Tart adorned haphazardly with a few pastry stars and hearts. 

So reach for the stars, love deeply and always bake with joy in your heart. For the little things really are the big things so drink them in and be grateful.

Here’s to inspiring women. Not those shouting from the rooftops for notoriety, but the women holding families together, teaching their children love, respect and strength. Guiding future generations gently, slowly and silently without any expectation of praise.

Remember, the Lioness doesn’t need to roar for you to know her strength or fear her presence. 

Recipe is below. 


Irish Apple Tart. Memories of my Grandmother.

Irish Apple Tart. Memories of my Grandmother.


  • 225g/8oz Cream Plain Flour
  • 125g/4oz Butter
  • ¼pt/150ml Cold Water (approx)
  • 4 large Cooking Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • Sugar, to sweeten apples
  • I egg to egg wash the top of the tart prior to baking (optional)
  • Sugar to dust (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
  2. Place butter in freezer for about 15 minutes to harden.
  3. Sieve flour into a bowl.
  4. Grate hard butter into the flour. Put a little flour on your fingers for this.
  5. Using a knife, mix grated butter into flour.
  6. Add sufficient water and mix to a soft dough with the knife.
  7. Turn onto a floured board, knead slightly and flattened into a disc. Wrap in clingfilm and put into fridge to chill.
  8. Prepare your apples while pastry chills
  9. Roll out half the pastry to the size of an oven proof plate. ( slightly larger than the plate you are using to allow for an overhang)
  10. Arrange sliced apples on the pastry.
  11. Sprinkle with sugar to sweeten.
  12. Roll remaining pastry to cover the apples.
  13. Dampen edge of base pastry with cold water to seal.
  14. Press top pastry over apples to make the tart.
  15. Seal the edges using a fork and trim around the plate with a knife.
  16. Cut out little stars and hearts to adore the top using the pastry trimmed off ( this is optional)
  17. Put a slash on pastry lid to allow steam to escape .
  18. Beat the egg lightly and brush over the top of the tart with a pastry brush
  19. Put tart into the fridge for another few minutes to chill the pastry again (optional)
  20. Bake for 25-35 minutes approx.

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