Recipe by: Rick Stein | Photography by: James Murphy Photography


1 smaller quantity of sweet pastry

75g white chocolate


400ml pressed apple juice

3tbsp caster sugar

2 cloves

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

4 small dessert apples, such as Cox’s


2 large free-range egg yolks

Finely grated zest of ½ lemon

60g caster sugar

20g plain flour

20g cornflour

300ml full cream milk

100ml full fat cream cheese


75g light soft brown sugar

2tbsp single cream

15g butter


Pre heat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Briefly re-kneed the pastry, then cut into 8 pieces. Roll each piece out on a lightly floured work surface to a 3mm thickness and use to line eight lightly buttered, 8cm loose-bottomed tartlet tins. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Prick the bases with a fork and line the squares of crumpled greaseproof paper and a thin layer of baking beans. Bake the tartlet cases for 10 minutes or until the edges are biscuit coloured. Carefully remove the paper and beans and return the tartlets to the oven for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and leave to cool. Meanwhile, break the white chocolate into a small heatproof bowl. Bring 3cm of water to the boil in a small pan, remove from the heat and rest the bowl of chocolate on top. When it has melted, brush a very thin layer of chocolate over the inside of each tartlet case. Leave to cool and set. Put the apple juice, sugar, cloves and nutmeg into a wide shallow pan and simmer until reduced by half. Quarter, core and peel the apples, thinly slice them into the syrup and simmer for a minute. Leave to cool in the syrup.

For the cheesy pastry cream, mix the egg yolks, lemon zest, sugar, plain flour, cornflour and 2 tablespoons of the milk together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Bring the rest of the milk to the boil in a non-stick pan. Gradually beat into the egg yolk mixture, return the mixture to the pan and stir over a medium heat, until smooth and thick. Simmer gently for 2 minutes, stirring, then spoon into a bowl and press a sheet of cling film into the surface to prevent it from forming a skin. Cool, then chill until needed.

To assemble the tarts, put the cream cheese into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric hand-held whisk for a minute or two until smooth and light. Gradually beat in the chilled pastry cream. Spoon the mixture into the tartlet cases and lightly level the tops. Lift the apple slices out of the syrup and arrange them, slightly overlapping, over the top of the pastry cream.

For the butterscotch glaze, put all the ingredients into a small pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Brush the mixture over the top of the apples and leave to cool, then serve.