Samhain Apple Tart

Samhain always creeps up on me, somehow. Each year I find myself stunned on the 29th or 30th that, yes, it's about to happen, and yes, I am ritually unprepared. In fact, being unprepared is my Samhain ritual by now.

So I usually whip something up at the last minute, some type of food that would anchor me to the occasion, and fill the air in the house with just the right smell. These foods usually contain apples, cinnamon and other spices of the "gingerbread" variety. Or they contain zucchini and bell peppers, which by this time are going out of season around here and should be cherished accordingly. Or pumpkin, of course, though the pumpkin is more of a cultural import. Then again, so is celebrating Samhain, technically.


I didn't remember this pic being so out of focus. Oh well.

My usual fare for the quick Samhain celebration is the apple tart that follows my Mother's recipe - a recipe that actually comes from an old book on natural healing through food, where this tart is given as an example of a dessert suitable for people on strict diets. As cakes go, this one is positively ascetic.

Ingredients


For the pastry:
  • Flour
  • Hot water
  • Vegetable oil
These ingredients must be in proportion of 5/1/1.*


For the filling:
  • Fresh apples,
  • Ground cinnamon,
  • (Optional, not in the original recipe: one flat tablespoon of powdered sugar)
*So you would take, say, 5 cups of flour, one cup of hot water, and one cup of oil. That would result in a huge amount of pastry, though. You can use whatever amounts you need as far as you observe the proportion.

Tools

  • Baking mould - springform for one large tart, or muffin tray for several small tartelettes
  • Very coarse grater (optional)

Preparation


Peel the apples, and either grate them on or dice into 1cm bits. Set them aside.

Put your flour in a bowl, and pour the vegetable oil into it. Mix thoroughly, until you have these clustered clumps.
Pour the water into the mass. The water should be fairly hot, but not boiling - think nicely hot, drinkable tea.
Mix the whole mass, carefully and diligently. 

Now, it will seem like this is never going to form into pastry. It will seem impossible. You will be tempted to add some more water.
Do not do this!
If you observed the proportion, all you have to do is keep on mixing and working until you have a nice, sturdy, elastic dough. It will happen.

Start pre-heating the oven. Spread your dough in a tart-like shape in your mould(s). Any excess dough can go to decorating the top.

Fill the tart with your apple bits, and dust them with cinnamon and possibly sugar if you want to. Although in my family we have never added sugar to this tart and by now it's basically travesty.

Decorate if you want to. Bake in 180 - 200 C for about 40 minutes, or until golden at the edges.

Serve and enjoy!

Oh, and if you need some more ideas for Samhain dishes:



Lá Shamhna sona daoibh, a dhaoine uaisle!