Cape Winelands Apple Tart

Apple Tart Recipe (Page 211 of the Cape Winelands Cuisine Cookbook)

Good-quality tarts didn’t need raising agents and, as with the Netherlands, the Cape was famous for its fresh and dried fruit tarts. In the Netherlands, apple tart was the favourite, but at the Cape apricot jam tarts and melktert (milk tart) became popular. There was even a melktert baked with a topping of apricot halves! Melktert with flaky pastry and no topping eventually becomes part of the traditional cuisine at the Cape. This apple tart is based on a recipe recorded by Thomas van der Noot (1510).

Serves: 6-8


3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced.

2 Tbsp (30ml) sweet wine

½ cup (125ml) sugar

¼ tsp (1ml) ground ginger

Pinch of ground cloves

1 cinnamon stick

3 cardamom pods, bruised and tied in a muslin cloth

¼ tsp (1ml) grated nutmeg

2 Tbsp (30ml) butter

2 Tbsp (30ml) currants (optional)

½ cup (125ml) almonds or walnuts, chopped (optional)

3 eggs, separated

½ quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (see recipe on page 252)

cinnamon sugar, for dusting

whipped cream, for serving


Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F).

Steam the apples in a saucepan with the wine, sugar and spices until soft.

Remove the cinnamon stick and cardamom and discard.

Add butter, currants and nuts (if using). Leave to cool slightly, before whisking in the egg yolks.

Beat the egg white until stiff, and then fold in using a metal spoon.

Line a 22cm pie dish with the sweet shortcrust pastry. Line with parchment (baking) paper, fill with dried beans and bake blind for 15 minutes.

Remove the paper and beans and leave to cool slightly. Pour in the filling and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Dust with cinnamon sugar and serve with whipped cream.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

Makes: 1.1kg or 3 ½ cups


300 g butter

150 g sugar

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

2 small pkt (500g) cake flour

Pinch of salt


Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs and yolks one by one until incorporated.

Sift the flour and salt and mix to form a dough. From into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.

Rest for 1 hour in the refrigerator before using.

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