Mille mele (thousand-layer apple tart)

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 16 people

  • 3.6 kg Granny Smith apples
  • 650 gm caster sugar
  • For greasing: butter
  • To serve: whipped cream
01   Preheat oven to 180C. Peel and core apples and thinly slice on a mandolin into acidulated water. Pat apple slices dry a few at a time by placing on a tea towel and pressing another tea towel on top. Arrange a layer of apple slices, overlapping slightly in concentric circles, in a deep buttered 25cm-diameter springform pan. Scatter with about 2 tbsp sugar, press firmly, then continue layering apples and sugar until apples reach about 2cm above rim of pan. Finish with a layer of sugar.
02   Place pan on a rack over an oven tray lined with baking paper to catch juices, then bake until tart is golden and apple is very tender, spooning over juices from baking paper about every 30 minutes (3½-4 hours). If juices start to caramelise before apple is cooked through, move pan to a fresh tray lined with baking paper and continue cooking and spooning over juices. If top layer is colouring too quickly, cover loosely with foil. Cool to room temperature (1-1½ hours), cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream.
This recipe is from the May 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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