Traditional Irish Apple Tart

Traditional Irish Apple Tart

Apple tart has long since been an Irish traditional dessert and especially if you were in a position to be able to grow apples or lucky enough to have an orchard.

As a young girl growing up many a weekend was spent watching my Mum and my grandmother in the kitchen baking traditional Irish apple tarts.

Of course, there was never only one tart made, quite possibly because there were so many mouths to feed and because these simple yet delicious heart-warming desserts always had you longing for just another slice!

To this day I still have the old enamel dishes that they both used to lay the pastry on, some of this enamel dishes are a little deeper than others to allow for a deep pie, with more fruit-filled within.

I’m going to share with you a recipe within the traditional Irish apple tart recipe, a slightly different slant if you will – or an optional additional fruit to enhance the sweet apples.

Unlike the recipe that my ancestors used I like to stew the fruit first. The following recipe makes one deep pie.


1 x pot, 1 x wooden spoon, 1 x sieve, 1 x deep pie dish, 1x small sharp knife, a pastry brush and a baking tray

stewed apple and plum
Photo Credit: Olive O’Brien


2 x large cooking apples peeled and cut into cubes

6 x large plums (optional additional fruit)

1 x roll of ready-made sweet pastry – at room temperature

1 x egg beaten

Half the juice of 1 x lemon

20g caster sugar

50mls of water

10mls of Tia Maria or red wine (alcohol optional)

Few fresh cloves (optional)


Using the small sharp knife remove the skin from the cooking apples. Then remove the core or slice the apple around the core.

Cut the apple into cube sizes not too small, add to the pot with lemon juice and 10mls of the water. Slowly heat and stir occasionally to ensure the apples do not stick to the pan.

Stewed fruit
Photo Credit: Olive O’Brien

Once the apples have softened remove from pot and set aside.

Slice the plums in half and twist in opposite directions to remove from the centre stone.

Add the remaining water along with the halved plums to the pot maintaining the heat to stew the fruit (you will not need to wash the pot as the plums will take on the apple flavour)

While you are stewing the plum you can add the Tia Maria and sugar. When the plums have softened reduce the heat by half by now the juice should be like a syrup.

Remove from heat and strain through a sieve into a cup so that you can keep some syrup if needed later.

Add the plum pulp to the softened apple and mix well, if it’s too dry add some extra syrup.

Unroll the sweet pastry and cut it to fit your pie dish remembering to keep enough to cover your fruit pie.

Add the mixed fruit into the dish and dot in a few fresh cloves (optional) and fasten down the remaining pastry on top of the fruit.

Tuck the pastry down along the sides and with the beaten egg using a pastry brush to dip and brush the egg wash over the top of the pastry to give it a golden finish.

Pastry Pie
Photo Credit: Olive O’Brien

Cooking Times and Temperatures

Transfer the pie dish to a baking tray this avoids any fruit juices that may overspill on to your oven. (easier to clean from a tray than the oven)

Place into a preheated oven 180° (or 350 F) for 25/30 mins until the pastry is cooked through and has a golden colour.

Serving Suggestions

I personally prefer to serve my hot apple (& plum) pie with warm custard.

Alternatively, this cooled pie can be eaten with freshly whipped cream or even ice-cream

I hope you enjoy making this recipe, do let me know in the comments below if you went with the traditional recipe or spiced it up a bit!

Apple and Plum Tart
ID 125263725 © Michael Ahanov |

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