This comes from the St. David's School Cookbook (1974) and I have been making it now for thirty years. It's wonderful for parties; it's very elegant and rich, and really extraordinarily delicious. The pastry--which is really like shortbread--is good enough to eat by itself; the combination makes for a great dessert. It is rich enough that it doesn't need whipped cream (though I wouldn't stop anyone from adding some).
- 1 lb sweet butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 4 -5 cups unbleached white flour
- 5 lbs apples (I recommend a combination of Granny Smith and Mackintosh)
- 8 ounces apricot jam
- 1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup slivered almonds (optional)
- For the crust:.
- Blend the softened butter with the sugar thoroughly.
- When creamy, add egg yolks vanilla and salt.
- Mix well.
- Blend in flour gradually, mixing lightly by hand until a homogenous mass.
- Pat dough into a 12" rectangular pyrex baking dish until it is evenly distributed over the bottom and part way up the sides.
- For the filling:.
- Peel and core apples and slice them into fairly thin slices.
- Sprinkle the slices with lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar as you go, placing them into a bowl, until all the apples are sliced.
- Warm the jam.
- If it is in a glass jar, loosen the lid and place the jar in a small pot of water, with the water coming half way up the side of jar.
- Simmer over low heat until jam is soft.
- Spread half the jam on the surface of the crust, and then place the apples, slightly overlapping, in as many rows as the bottom will take.
- If you are using Mackintosh apples, they will shrink more and tend to break.
- Keep your prettiest slices for the top, and arrange them attractively.
- Using a pastry brush, spread the rest of the jam across the the top of the cake.
- Sprinkle the top with almonds (I always leave this out unless I'm making it for a certain person).
- Bake in a 350° oven for about an hour, until crust and apples are golden.