An Irish Apple Tart

20 Jan 2011

The old saying goes, “there is nothing more American than apple pie”, but I am here to tell you that it was actually a delicious slice of Irish apple tart that won me over in the infamous apple pie department.

I was never a big fan of apple pie…much preferred creamier or berrier versions, so when my mother-in-law, Peggy, offered me a slice on that fateful autumn afternoon, I hesitated, then thought to myself  hmmm, I wouldn’t want to seem contrary, would I? And so it goes, that was the first day of my 6+ year love affair with the Irish apple tart.

Now, this isn’t just any ordinary tart. It uses the age-old tradition of baking using an ordinary flat plate as opposed to the deep pie dish that we are accustomed to in the USA. If you had told me before I moved here that it was possible to bake a pie on a plate, I would have had a good chuckle. But here in Ireland, it’s pretty common practice….I’ve had it with a cup of tea in more than a few locations.

Our son would say “Gran makes it best” {but you should know that she also shares the yummy pastry trimmings with him.} Up for a challenge, I decided to give it a try myself with a few small tweaks to see how it would turn out. I bent her ear for the recipe and borrowed her ovenable plate and was off!

Since it is winter and we’ve no fresh apples from the orchard at the moment, I used the ones that were peeled and frozen in the fall. Each autumn the apples are picked and either sliced and frozen or stewed and frozen for the year, which is a brilliant, time-saving idea.  For the apple filling, I added a tiny bit of cinnamon and freshly grated ginger to the sugar just for a little added zing.

First, I put the thawed apples in a mixing bowl

and stirred in the sugar, a squeeze of a lemon, cinnamon

and a bit of grated fresh ginger

Then, I made the pastry dough (using this butter) and rolled it out to ¼-1/2 inch thickness

Turned it onto the plate

I carefully spooned the apple mixture into the pie plate pastry

And then placed the top of the pastry case over the apples, added a sweet little apple motif on top,

sealed the edge and brushed with an egg wash

And voila! A divine Irish apple tart, all pretty on a plate.

Here’s the recipe….


Slan Abhaile,


Photos by Imen McDonnell. Recipe by Peggy and Imen McDonnell

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