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Here is a twist on the more conventional dessert of apple pie. This has an open top, and a brownie/afghan like crust, rather than the normal sweet short pastry. Although the mere idea of making pastry/crust is enough to send many people (me included) into near hysterics, this lovely crust from Baking Bites is very simple. It is made in a matter of minutes in a food processor, is pressed straight into the tin with no chilling, doesn’t need to be rolled out, and does not require blind baking. It means you can make this elegant looking dessert in a matter of ten minutes, with a few basic ingredients in your cupboard. Serve warm, on its own or with ice-cream, creamy greek yoghurt or whipped cream.

Apple Tart with a Chocolate Crust (serves seven)

1 cup white flour

1/2 cup butter

1/3 + 1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup of cocoa powder

Three cooking apples (eg. Granny Smith)

1 Tablespoon of cornflour

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. MIx the flour, butter, cocoa powder and 1/3 cup of sugar in a food processor, until it is sandy and crumbly, with all the butter broke into tiny pieces. Grease a metal tart tin, and press the mixture firmly into the tin, forming the bottom and the sides. Slice the apples very finely, leaving the skin on. Put the cornflour into a tea strainer/small sieve. Layer sliced apple, sprinkles of the reserved sugar, and shakes of sifted cornflour. Stack until the apple is slightly higher than the edges of the crust. Bake in the oven uncovered for about ten minutes, then cover with tinfoil, and return to the oven. The tart is done when the apples are tender and moist. Remove from the oven and leave for at least 10-15 minutes, to give the crust time to firm and harden.

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