Apple tart with cardamom

Äppelpanna med kardemumma

Apple tart with almond paste and cardamom

Äppelpanna means, literally, apple pan as originally this type of apple tart was baked in an enamel pan or a frying pan so that the pan could be put under a grill to caramelise the apples.

The tart is made of three layers: a lemon scented shortcrust pastry, a creamy almond filling and finally a layer of caramelised sliced apples with cardamom. For a more professional look I usually finish the pie off by glazing the apples, but you can omit this step if you want. John Duxbury


Summary of recipe for apple tart with cardamom


• To produce a light flaky pastry try to be confident when handling it and pat it into a round as quickly as possible. Don’t handle it too much or the heat of your hands will melt the butter and the pastry will become elastic and chewy, not crumbly and short.
• If you don’t fancy lemon zest in the pastry, try another dry ingredient such as vanilla seeds or even more cardamom.

Mandelmassa (almond paste)

• If possible, use mandelmassa (Swedish almond paste) which you can buy in specialist stores or online. If you can't get any you can use marzipan and omit the sugar from filling or you make your own.  For our recipe click here.
• Chill the mandelmassa before using as that makes it easier to grate.
• I usually peel the apples but, as shown in the photo at the top of the page, you can leave the skins on if you prefer.



250 g (2 cups) plain (all-purpose flour), plus extra for dusting
50 g (2/5 cup) icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
125 g (½ cup) butter, cut into small cubes
1   small lemon, zest only
1   egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp   milk

Almond paste filling

150 g (5 oz) Swedish almond paste, chilled
50 g (¼ cup) butter, softened
2 tbsp   caster (superfine) sugar
1 tsp   vanilla sugar
1   egg
1   egg yolk
1½ tbsp   plain (all-purpose) flour


1 tbsp   lemon juice
3   richly flavoured eating apples, such as Cox's
6-8   green cardamon pods
2 tbsp   caster (superfine) sugar
3 tbsp   apricot jam, mixed with 3 tablespoons of water


1. Make the pastry by putting the flour and sugar in a food processor and giving it a few whizzes to sift them. Add the butter and whizz for 10-15 seconds until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.

2. Add the lemon zest and process for a second to mix.

3. Add the egg and milk and process for a further 20-30 seconds or until the pastry clings together.

Pastry flattened into a round and then chilled

4. Using a lightly floured work surface, gently form the pastry into a round disc. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for about 30 minutes.

5. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (360°F, gas 4, 160°C).

Pastry case with short sides for almond tart

6. Roll the pastry out and use it to line a 22 cm (9”) pie dish. Trim the pastry so that it only comes part way up the dish. Prick the base lightly with a fork and bake for ten minutes.

7. Whisk the grated almond paste, butter, sugars, egg and egg yolk together with a fork until evenly mixed. Add the flour.

8. Spread the almond paste mixture over the pastry.

9. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to a bowl of water. Peel and core the apples. Slice thinly into the bowl of water.

10. Drain and dry the apple slices. Arrange them in overlapping concentric circles, the outer circle should lie one way, the next circle the other way.

11. Break open the cardamom pods using a pestle and mortar. Discard the shells and then grind the seeds until you can't be bothered anymore!

12. Mix the ground cardamom with the sugar and sprinkle over the apples.

Caramelised apple tart

13. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the apples are golden brown. (If you prefer a caramelised flavour, increase the heat to 220°C (425°F, gas 7, 180°C) for the last five minutes or pop the tart under the grill, but keep a close eye on it to avoid in becoming too burnt, although I like it caramelised to the point where the edges of the apple are just beginning to char.)

14. Melt the jam with 3 tablespoons of water then brush over the hot tart. Serve warm for the best flavour.

Serving suggestion

A jug of homemade vanilla sauce

• The pie is best served with lightly whipped cream or, as shown above, hemgjort vaniljsås (homemade vanilla sauce).
• The pie is definitely best served luke warm but it can be easily reheated in a warm oven or in a microwave.


  printer version.pdf

  phone & tablet version.pdf

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Editor and Founder