Recipe: Melt in your mouth

Easy to make, tastes delicious, what's not to like about this Dorset Apple Tart with Hazelnut & Salted Caramel
Recipe: Melt in your mouth
Dorset Apple Tart. Picture Jim Coughlan  

I’ve made this Dorset Apple Tart with Hazelnut & Salted Caramel in a lovely rectangular loose-based tin but it will be perfect in a traditional round tin. Dorset apple cake is easy to make and doesn’t require a mixer. Here the addition of salted caramel is travelling completely away from tradition but adds a little interest. I’ve also enriched the batter slightly with a little ground almond. It’s a lovely homely cake and suits a morning coffee, or evening time dessert. Serve with cream or ice cream and some extra salted caramel to drizzle over the top.

Sweet pastry (Optional)

I like to line the tart with pastry as it makes it really nice for cutting and adds a bite. This will make a bit more than you need.


300g flour

150g butter

60g sugar

6 g salt

2 free range eggs


  • Mix flour, sugar and butter to crumb, add in the eggs and salt and mix lightly
  • Turn onto board and work enough to bring together.
  • Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for an hour or so.
  • Grease the flan ring.
  • Roll out the pastry approx. 1½ in larger than the flan ring.
  • Carefully place the pastry on the flan ring. Push well into the corners.
  • Chill until ready to fill.

Salted Caramel


125gr sugar

25gr water

80ml cream — warmed

5gr maldon sea salt, (optional)


  • Cook 125gr of sugar and the water to caramel.
  • Cooking the sugar to caramel.
  • Be very careful, as caramel burns are very serious.
  • Get ready a small bowl of ice water and a clean pastry brush.
  • Put the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed pan, (choose a pan slightly larger than you think you need and ideally with high sides) and cook over a gentle heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Turn up the heat the syrup will begin to boil rapidly.
  • Sugar crystals may form at the side of the pan, brush these down carefully with the ice-cold water and a pastry brush, be very care full doing this to ensure the sugar does not splatter.
  • When the sugar begins to caramelise swirl the pan gently to disperse the heat.
  • When you tilt the pan the liquid should be a rich caramel colour, be brave enough to cook it to quiet a deep colour, (if you smell burn you need to start again), once your caramel is cooked remove from the heat.
  • Carefully add the warmed cream and cook for a minute or two more stirring well to remove any lumps.
  • Cool the caramel until required. Add sea salt

Tart Filling


120 to 275 g cooking apples, such as Bramley

112g butter (room temperature), plus extra for greasing

Slight squeeze of half a lemon

70gr salted caramel.

112g light muscovado sugar

150g self-raising flour

25g ground clmond

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2 large eggs

1 tbsp full-fat or semi-skimmed milk

30gr toasted lightly broked hazelnuts.


  • Preheat the oven to 170ºC
  • Peel, quarter, core, and thinly slice the apples, and put them in a shallow dish.
  • Pour over the lemon juice toss gently together.
  • Put the soft butter, muscovado sugar, flour,ground almond, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, the eggs, half the hazelnuts and the milk in a large bowl.
  • Beat thoroughly using an electric hand whisk for about two minutes (or use a wooden spoon for about three minutes) until smooth and light.
  • Spread half the mixture into the prepared tin.
  • Arrange half the apples over the top of the mixture, drizzle with all the salted caramel,then repeat the layers.
  • Spreading the batter carefully so as the layers can be seen once cooked.
  • Gently press the top layer of apples into the mixture.
  • Sprinkle over the demerara sugar, remaining cinnamon and hazelnuts.
  • Bake for 40 to minutes to one hour, or until well risen and golden brown on top. The cake will feel spongy but firm.
  • Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream, cream, or even crème fraiche, and a drizzle of salted caramel.

If you would like to contact Mercy Fenton email

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