* 175g 00 or plain flour, plus extra for dusting the work surface
* 100g caster sugar
* Zest of half an orange or lemon
* Seeds scraped out of a vanilla pod or 4 drops of vanilla extract
* 2 egg yolks
* 50g lard (if not using add another 50g butter)
* 50g butter at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the tin
* 1 tablespoon of milk if necessary
* Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin with butter and shake over flour (tapping off excess.)
* Make pastry by combining all ingredients in food processor OR make by hand – thoroughly mix flour, sugar, zests, vanilla and fats in large bowl by rubbing your fingers through to make fine breadcrumbs. Keep hands above bowl letting breadcrumbs fall to collect air. Mix in egg to form firm dough and squelch ingredients through fingers until blended. If dough is dry, add 1tblsp milk and blend.
* Ideally, chill pastry for 20mins in fridge before rolling out between 2 layers of baking parchment or cling film to a thickness of ½cm (use leftovers to patch up cracks.) Line tin and prick base with fork.
* Transfer tin to oven and bake for 15-20mins or until light golden. Remove and cool.
Custard for filling
* 300ml milk
* 1 vanilla pod, slit lengthways (can replace by using vanilla essence)
* 2 eggs yolks
* 40g white sugar
* 20g cornflour
# Put milk in saucepan with vanilla pod and bring to gentle boil.
# Mix egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in bowl with whisk. When milk is just boiling remove from heat and add 1 ladleful at a time to cornflour stirring until ½ is incorporated.
# Pour mixture back into milk. Return to heat for few mins until it thickens, keep stirring. Remove from heat and transfer custard to cold bowl, cover surface with cling film or damp baking parchment to prevent skin forming. Allow to cool with vanilla pod.
Filling: (with Apple or Peach)
# 4 large apples
# Juice of 1 lemon
# 45g unsalted butter
# 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
# 1 tsp ground cinnamon
# 1/4 tsp ground cloves
To make the filling, peel and core the apples, and cut each into small pieces. Toss immediately with lemon juice in a large bowl, to prevent apples from discolouring. Place the butter and sugar in a large frypan over medium-low heat. When butter has melted, add apples and spices, then stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until apples have softened. Set aside to cool. Discard the juice from cooked apple.
Add the cooked apple pieces only into the custard, stir well
To Decorate: * 1 to 2 yellow peaches or apple , depending on size, in .5cm thick slices
* Apricot glaze or jam (optional) to cover the top
Once the Crust has been cooked and cool down, add the mix of cooked apple and custard,decorating the surface by arranging the apple slices to cover the whole pie. Sprinkle some Cinnamon powder and sugar on the top. For a professional finish, brush with warmed apricot glaze or jam that is runny.
Cook in the oven for another 25 minutes at 180 degree. Let it cool and serve with ice cream or whipped cream