Rum & pecan apple tart


aaaaaaaaaaaand we’re in! We have an oven that works! That tart up there is one of the first things I’ve baked here, and it didn’t burn on the bottom or anything. It’s all about the little victories, right?

A week and a half in, the kitchen stuff still hasn’t been unpacked. If you employ tunnel vision, you’ll find corners that are almost Pinterest-worthy – I couldn’t rest until I found a big jar to keep pasta in – but if you stop squinting you might spot a few still-wrapped plates, or a book that’s not quite in the right place. We’ve got our priorities sorted, though. The first time we came to the flat, we brought the essentials with us: kettle; mugs; teabags; and Hobnobs, always pronounced without the H. We moved the tea supplies in before we’d even been given the keys.

RumPecanAppleTart2It feels right, finally. We – three of us, now – have grown as people considerably in the last year and a half, and this flats feels like it reflects us better than the flats we could never quite bring ourselves to call “home” ever did. The first few days, we’d nudge each other every now and then just to say, “Hey. Hey. We live here.” This is where we have a biscuit jar to dip into, and little bits of each of our personalities perched on every shelf and worktop.

Regardless of the boxes hastily shoved into corners, we’ve had friends over for dinner. Obviously I volunteered to make dessert, and obviously this ended with me botching together a recipe on that day that, thankfully, worked, so I didn’t have to pull my “sorry guys, here’s some ice cream” trick. You probably can’t go far wrong, though, with apples, cream, pecans, and rum.

Usually, I have a don’t-waste-drink-in-food policy. You know how recipes are often all, “add 250ml [semi-expensive] white wine”? When you don’t have spare twenties to throw around willy-nilly, you see that the same recipe with something else replacing the wine is almost as good. If you quantify the price of a bottle of wine by calculating how many weeks’ pasta, or cheese, or vegetables that’d be, you’re not as likely to throw a “glug” of the good stuff into a risotto. Food snobs, I’m sure, would be horrified.

Here, we’re talking about one and a half tablespoons. Not even a shot. The rum here isn’t for the alcohol – if you want a booze hit, go here for inspiration, or here if you’re reading this in the colder months. Nope, instead, a rum and butter concoction is used in this to bring a little warmth, some spice, and some vanilla that works wonderfully with the indulgent double cream-based custard filling.

Rum & pecan apple tart // The Littlest Bakehouse

Rum & pecan apple tart

Adapted, after considerable to-and-froing, from Raymond Blanc for BBC Food. Serves 8.


400g shortcrust pastry
50g pecans, roughly chopped
4 apples (I used Granny Smiths)
65g sugar
15g butter
1.5 tbsp spiced rum
100ml double cream
1 medium egg
Icing sugar to dust


Rolling pin
Loose-bottomed tart tin, 25cm in diameter (other sizes will work just fine too, of course)
Sharp knife
Medium mixing bowl
Small saucepan
Pastry brush, fork and jug


  1. First up, prep your pastry. On a floured surface, roll the pastry to about 20cm in diameter, roughly round, then sprinkle with about a third of the chopped pecans. Roll out a bit more, to 30cm-ish. Sprinkle another third of the pecans into the gaps. Finally, roll to around 35cm, about 5mm thick. Line the tin, tearing off excess pastry to use to push into the corners, and trim along the outside of the rim (not the top!). Use trim-offs to plug any gaps caused by the pecans. Refrigerate for about half an hour.
  2. While the case chills, preheat the oven to 200C. Core and slice the apples to about 2 or 3mm thick, dropping them into a mixing bowl of cold water as you go to stop them going brown.
  3. Prick the bottom of the base a few times, line it and fill with baking beans, and bake on the centre shelf until just starting to turn golden. While it bakes, heat the butter and 15g of sugar until melted, then remove from the heat and mix in the rum.
  4. Remove the base from the oven, and arrange the apple slices on top. Do one layer, sprinkle with leftover pecan pieces, then do a second layer. Brush with the butter/sugar/rum mixture, transfer the tin to a baking tray, and bake for around 30 minutes, until the apples have caramelised.
  5. Whisk together the cream, egg, and remaining sugar, pour over the apples, and bake for a further 10-15 minutes, until the custard has set.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before dusting with icing sugar.
Notes: Shop-bought pastry is absolutely fine – especially in this heat, there’s just no good reason to faff about making shortcrust. *You’ll likely have cream left over – serve it with the tart, or, if you’re finding the morning especially hard, put some in your coffee. I promise it’s delicious. *Keep it in the fridge and it’s still delicious for two days, especially cold.

3 thoughts on “Rum & pecan apple tart

  1. HedgeComber says:

    I can’t believe you managed to whip this tasty treat up whilst still practically unpacking! Sweet lady, you deserve a ruddy medal!
    Congrats on the move and I hope you are perfectly happy in your new pad 🙂
    Janie x

Comments are closed.