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Down in the Orchard County: An Armagh Apple Tart Recipe

While I was growing up in Armagh, I never fully appreciated the landscape that surrounded our wee town because I was too busy being a moody teenager and showing too much enthusiasm for anything would have been detrimental to my social reputation. Now that I'm older and realise that I will never be cool, I eagerly await the harvest season when the countryside comes to life and the orchards, for which the county is known for, are teeming with fruit. mysunflarev1 Armagh is famous for its apples with the Armagh Bramley being the most common variety to be grown throughout the county. The history of apple growing in Armagh dates back around 3000 years with St Patrick himself planting an apple tree at Ceangoba, an ancient settlement found outside the city, so a love of apples is expected amongst those of us born and bred here! pickingapplesv3 Luckily we have a friend whose family own an apple orchard so we are able to go down at this time of year and pick our own apples to take home. Picking or gathering your own fruit and vegetables is always so rewarding and being able to turn them in to a delicious meal makes it that bit more special. I have been wanting to make my own apple tart for a while so last Saturday we booked in a few hours of pickin' down at the Glass Orchard just outside of Loughgall. handinbasketv1

Andrew and I drove down and met up with Marianne and Fergus, two lovely new friends of ours who were delighted to get a day out of the city and in to the orchard. Marianne is a photographer and all the photos in this post were taken by her. She's got a great eye for it and has started branching out in to engagement and wedding photography so make sure and follow her Instagram page here if you want to see more!


The weather was amazing considering it was the first day of October - we had the suns on our backs the whole time and not an umbrella in sight! Even got a go being pushed on a tree swing which I haven't done since I was a child and was like a giddy 5 year old as I was getting higher in the air. We gathered a basketful of Bramleys along with some plums and a wee sneaky box of Katy apples that our friend's Dad smuggled in to my car as I was leaving. Naturally my Mum confiscated the box of Katy's the divil so I was left with a dozen Bramleys for my tart! undertheappletreev4 We had a friend over for dinner last night so it was a great opportunity to get baking. I decided to try a smooth tart recipe - pureed apple makes me feel like a happy little baby and tastes amazing! It was also extremely easy especially since I was a complete cheater and bought ready made pastry! Please don't judge me. swingv4 The tart went down well thankfully with everyone although it was a little runny so bowls had to be used! Still so many apples to use though so I think I might have to bake up some more treats this week - let me know if you have any recommendations on how I can use them up! Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Homemade Apple Tart Ingredients
  • 3 Bramley apples, peeled, cores removed, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 450g/1lb ready-made puff pastry
  • 1 free-range egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 Bramley apple, peeled, cores removed, thinly sliced
  • 75g/3oz butter, melted
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
To Serve
  • vanilla ice cream
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C

  2. Place the roughly chopped apples with two tablespoons of water into a lidded pan and cover. Place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for a 3-4 minutes until the apples have become light and softened.

  3. Use a food processor to purée the apples, then set aside to cool.

  4. Meanwhile, roll the pastry to a circle about 30cm/12in in diameter. Grease the pie dish with butter and place pastry inside.

  5. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg. Wait one minute, then brush the pastry again with more egg.

  6. When the apple purée is cold, spread it over the bottom of the pastry.

  7. Layer the thin slices of apple over the apple purée.

  8. Brush the apple slices with the melted butter and sprinkle over the caster sugar.

  9. Transfer to the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is golden-brown and the apples are caramelised.

  10. To serve, cut out slices and place into the centre of plates/bowls with a ball of ice cream placed alongside. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

About Author

I'm Alex, the writer, photographer and creator of The Full Shilling. I started writing as a way to share all my favourite places in Ireland and the list just keeps growing! My aim is that you'll find somewhere new to explore and you'll make some great memories along the way. Happy reading!


  • Caoimhe
    5 years ago

    Lovely Al, must give it a bash :)

  • Alex Donnelly
    5 years ago

    Oh Kate what an amazing recipe!! I didn't know Nanny used to make this! Sounds delicious so I'll be sure to use up the rest of the Bramleys I have to make some :) I'll make sure to write it all down as well because it's an absolute treasure xx

  • Kate Donnelly
    5 years ago

    Well perhaps you could think about traditional potato apple ? which your nanny used to make... I swear she made the best potato apple ever.
    One of my fondest memories is of coming home from college on a wet and cold Friday evening particularly at this time of year, to a huge fire and hot potato apple dripping with melted butter and coated in sugar. The recipe is very simple and I will give you the lazy version :
    Make plenty of stewed apple with sugar of course.... I'm sure you're an old hand at that by now.
    When boiling your potatoes for dinner stick in an extra 3-4 potatoes, boil and mash adding plenty of butter and milk to your mash. Let the surplus potatoes left over from dinner cool, then when cooled add a couple of handfuls of self raising flour (sorry I can't give you exact measurements but your nanny never used scales was always a handful of this or a pinch of that so I had to learn by feel, texture and look and now it's your turn!!) and work into the potato until it is binded together and you can roll it out ... it should look like and is in fact raw potato bread. Roll out your potato bread keeping plenty of flour on your work top and rolling pin to prevent it from sticking and fill the centre with the stewed apple. Fold it over in half wetting round the edge with a wee drop of milk to seal it and pinch the edges also (makes it look pretty). Heat your pan on a medium heat with a good nob of butter and pop your potato apple in and cook for about 5-8mins until it is a nice golden brown underneath turn it and cook until golden brown on the other side. It's a good idea at this stage to turn your pan down a bit and continue cooking on both sides for another 3-5mins (there's nothing as bad as cutting into it and discovering the centre is raw so best give it the extra few minutes). Turn out on a plate or serving dish put a nob of butter on top and sprinkle over plenty of sugar. Enjoy and let me know how it goes x

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