Peel and core the apples and cut them lengthwise into eight equal wedges. Place the apple into a pot. To make the compote, add the raw sugar and granulated sugar and lightly toss to coat. Turn on the burner. Cover and cook on medium low heat.
When the melted sugar begins to make a simmering sound, uncover and shake the pot up and down to bring the bottom of the apple to the top. This method will help to avoid breaking the shape of the apple. Occasionally mix the apple from the bottom with a wooden paddle.
After about 10 minutes, the juices should come out of the apple. Make cuts in an X pattern in the center of a clean paper towel and place it onto the apple. This is a substitute for a drop-lid, which help the ingredient cook evenly. Then, simmer for 10 more minutes.
When the apple begins to turn translucent, remove the paper towel. Continue reducing the juices without a lid. While the juices still remain, add the raisins, lemon juice and cinnamon powder.
Gently mix the ingredients. Reduce the juices until there is only a small amount on the bottom. Turn off the burner and let it sit to cool.
Now, let's make the almond cream. In a fine mesh strainer, combine the almond powder, raw sugar and cake flour. Sieve the powder into a bowl. Be sure to bring all the ingredients to room temperature beforehand.
The unsalted butter should be at room temperature also and softened in a bowl. Add the sifted powder to the butter. Combine the mixture with a spatula.
When the butter is evenly incorporated, switch to a balloon whisk. Add the beaten egg a little at a time and combine the mixture. Gradually adding the egg will help to avoid separation. Now, the almond cream is ready.
Let's fill the tart crust. Place the almond cream onto the bottom of the crust. Spread it with a spatula evenly.
Arrange the apple compote in concentric circles over the cream. The apples should slightly overlap each other. Cut the remaining apple wedges in half and fill the middle of the tart with them. Distribute the raisins on top. Gently press the apple to even out the surface.
Preheat the oven to 190 °C (374 °F) and place the tart pan into it. Bake the tart at 190 °C (374 °F) for 40 to 50 minutes. To help brown the tart evenly, rotate the pan while baking. If the surface begins to burn too quickly, cover the tart with aluminum foil to adjust the color.
When the almond cream and apple turn golden brown, it is ready. Remove and place the pan onto a cooling rack.
Let's make the glaze. Add the rum to the apricot jam and stir to mix. You can also use hot water instead of the rum. Brush the apricot glaze over the top. Let it sit to cool and then remove the tart pan.
Be sure to use apples that have a firm texture for baking. In Japan, Tsugaru and Fuji are the most popular brands for baking apples.
Alternatively, you can use other fruit such as peaches, European pears and figs.
First, let's make the choux batter. In a pot, combine the water, butter and a pinch of salt, and turn on the burner. Bring it to a boil on medium heat. When the butter is completely melted and it reaches a rolling boil, turn off the burner.
Add the sieved cake flour to the pot. Quickly stir the mixture. When the flour has absorbed the water evenly and the mixture begins to turn gooey, turn on the burner again. Continue to stir the mixture on medium heat until a thin film forms on the bottom of the pot.
Place the mixture into a bowl. Flatten it with a spatula and slightly cool to avoid cooking the egg. Then, gradually add the beaten egg in 4 to 5 steps. When the egg is completely absorbed, begin adding another portion.
Achieving the perfect consistency is essential to making presentable choux pastries. To prevent the batter from getting too thin, add the egg a little at a time when it reaches the final stage. Drop the batter from the spatula as shown to check the consistency. When the choux batter left hanging forms a “V” shape, it is the perfect consistency.
Next, dust the edge of a 5cm (2") diameter cup with any type of flour or starch. Then, as a rough guide, make 12 circles where the choux batter will be placed on the parchment paper.
Put the batter into a pastry bag. Hold the bag 1cm (0.5") above the circle and squeeze the batter into a round shape. Repeat the process, filling each of the markers.
Dampen your finger with water and press each peak of the batter, adjusting the shape. Finally, mist the batter with water thoroughly to help avoid drying.
Place the baking sheet into the oven preheated to 200 °C (390 °F) and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet. Place the choux pastries onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Pastry Cream (net weight 500g/1.1 lb)
Let’s make the pastry cream. Cut the vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise and scrape it with the back of a knife, extracting the seeds. Then, add the seeds and pod to the milk, mix and gradually heat it on low heat. When it begins to boil, turn off the burner.
Next, lightly beat 4 egg yolks in a bowl and add the sugar. Mix the egg yolk with a balloon whisk until it begins to lighten in color.
Combine the cake flour and corn starch, and sieve onto a sheet of paper. Add it to the egg yolk and combine the mixture. Add one third of the milk to the bowl, diluting the egg yolk. Make sure to add the milk film and vanilla seeds.
Then, using a mesh strainer, strain the egg yolk into the pot of the milk. Turn on the burner. Continue mixing the pastry cream until it thickens. When it begins to form bubbles, turn off the burner.
Place the pastry cream into a tray chilled with ice. Cover it with plastic wrap. Pastry cream spoils easily so cool it as soon as possible.
Add the sugar to a bowl of whipping cream. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Lightly mix the chilled pastry cream in a bowl to soften. Add the whipped cream and combine. We recommend adding two thirds of the whipped cream but you can adjust the amount to taste. Mix to combine.
Make a diagonal cut in each choux pastry. Put the pastry cream into a bag. Give it a little squeeze to remove the air inside. Open the pastry and squeeze a generous amount of the cream into it. You can also simplify the filling process by spooning the cream into the pastries.
Finally, sprinkle the powdered sugar over them.
We often add rum or brandy to the pastry cream. This will increase the flavor of the cream so try it out if you like.
Squeezing the batter with a pastry bag will help to make the choux the same size and shape.