The Reinette Apple from Le Vigan

Reinette apples
Reinettes du Vigan

The reinette apple is an apple grown widely in the Cévennes and is ripe at the beginning of winter. It is good for eating fresh as well for cooking.

Originating from Canada, the reinette was originally taken to Canada by Frenchmen and women in the form of seeds and seedlings, setting off from Normandy and Brittany. It was for a long time the only apple grown in Canada, and the reinette from Le Vigan was a variety exported back to France by the Canadians.

If you ask anyone who lives in the Languedoc how to make an apple tart, you will get many different versions. Here is one we like:

Tarte aux Pommes

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
For 6
Ingredients:
– 200 g de shortcrust pastry/puff pastry/readymade pâte brisé if in France
– 6 reinette apples
– 100g icing sugar

Wine to accompany: Monbazillac desert wine

Cooking instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (thermostat 6).

2. Roll out the pastry, and cover a pastry dish with greaseproof pastry before placing the pastry in it. Cook blind for 15 minutes.

3. Peel the apples (if you prefer, leave the skins on to add colour), remove the cores, cut into quarters and then into fine slices.

4. Remove your pastry dish from the oven. Arrange your apple slices on the dish in a circular pattern as suits your dish.

5. Sprinkle with icing sugar and replace in the oven for another ten minutes at 150°C (Mark 5)

6. Remove from mould and serve with crème anglaise or real English custard if you like.

Which apple to use for what?

Confused by the variety of apples on offer in French markets? Here are some starting tips to help you choose the appropriate apple for your dish.

For salads:

Reine des reinettes
Granny Smith
Royal Gala
Golden Delicious

For baking:

Reine des reinettes
Reinette du Vigan
Starking Delicious

For tarts:

Reinette du Vigan
Royal Gala
Golden Delicious
Reine des Reinettes

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