Friday, April 24, 2009

Alsatian Apple Tart

Alsastian Apple Tart
Adapted from Once Upon a Tart

Crust can be prepared a day ahead….
Prep time: 60 minutes
Baking time:75 minutes

Servings: 4-6 - makes enough dough for 2 9" pie crusts


Flaky Tart Crust modified slightly – this recipe makes enough for 2 – 9” tarts:
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour (the book calls for 2 ½ cups, but it kept crumbling for me)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
12 tbsp (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼” pieces
5 tbsp cold solid vegetable shortening (I used Crisco)
Ice cold water (they suggest starting with 4 tbsp and then adding by the tbsp as needed. I ended up using a little more than half cup – double what they said

2-4 large tart apples, peeled & cut in half top to bottom, remove the core and stem (they recommend Granny Smith, I had Honey Crisp on hand and they worked fine too) – it really does depend on your tart pan. Mine was 8” not nine. Make several layers, almost to the top of the crust.
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
½ cup light cream
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup Apricot glaze (I used my favorite Tangled Garden Apple Sage Jelly, warmed and thinned with a touch of water)


1. Put the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of the food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse a couple of times to combine.

2. Add the chilled butter and shortening and pulse - until the mixture looks like “moist crumbs” (I’m not sure what that looks like exactly, but don’t allow it to come to a paste) .

3. This step is where I had difficulty. I usually over mix and make a tough dough, so this time – twice in fact, I didn’t add enough water and it was too crumbly to roll. I took some liberties a la Barefoot Contessa, Instead of turning the flour/butter mixture into a large bowl and adding tablespoons of water and mixing by hand….I added ½ cup of water through the feeding tube and pulsed until it started to form a ball. I then gathered it into a ball (actually split the dough into two portions).

4. Wrap each ball, flattened to a disk, in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.

5. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, about 2” larger than the circumference of the 9” tart pan (with a removable bottom). Fold over the rolling pin and place in the tart pan, gently fitting the pastry up the sides, flush with the bottom. Remove any excess pastry from the top.

6. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes before baking in the center of the oven. All this refrigerating , makes sure the butter is cold so that when it hits the heat of the oven, it will make the flakiest crusts imaginable.

7. Preheat oven to 350°F/ 175°C.

8. While the crust is in the fridge for the final chilling, thinly slice (1/8” thick) the apples top to bottom. I used my mandoline, but a sharp knife does the trick too.

9. Lay the apples over the unbaked crust, overlapping from the outer edge around and then spiraled (also overlapping) to the center. Keep layering until the apples almost reach the top of the crust.

10. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the eggs. Add the sugar and whisk until light and creamy yellow in color. Add the cream, milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk and pour over the apples…this is your "custard". Only use as much as your pan will allow and …for easy cleanup, bake your tart on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the custard (egg mixture) won’t jiggle in the middle when you shake the pan. The apple slices will look dry and pale…have no fear, that’s what the glaze is for!

11. Remove the tart from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool slightly. The easiest way to remove the tart…great tip from the authors…is to place the entire pan on a large can, well balanced, and allow the outside ring to fall. Place the tart on a work surface and slide off the metal onto a serving plate.

12. Warm the glaze or (jelly in my case) over low heat to melt which makes for easy brushing over the warm tart. Note: please remember to remove the tart from the outer ring of the pan before doing this. I didn’t and some of the flaky crust stuck to the rim. It still tasted awesome, but presentation was a little flawed.

Serve warm or at room temperature. I personally favor warm and a little vanilla ice cream melting on the side is delicious too.

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