photograph by Marjorie Taylor This apple tart is a classic. It is not too sweet and the touch of vanilla is perfect. You can serve this with chantilly cream with a touch of Calvados, or a spoonful of creme fraiche with a little vanilla, or of course, homemade vanilla ice cream. Bon appétit…
Apple tart Serves 6 to 8
1 recipe pâte sucrée (recipe follows) 3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced into even 1/8 inch slices 2 tablespoon unsalted butter 2 tablespoons sugar
for the apple puree:
3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled cored and diced 1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 375o
Line the tart pan with the pâte sucrée. Prick the bottom with a fork and line the shell with parchment paper. Fill the lined tart with dried beans or pie weights and bake for 15 minutes until the edges are set and lightly browned. Take the tart out of the oven and carefully remove the parchment paper and dried beans.
To make the apple puree, put the diced apples, vanilla bean pod, sugar and butter in a saucepan with 3 to 4 tablespoons of water. Cook gently, stirring often until soft, adding more water if necessary, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Using the tip of a knife to scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean, the discard the pod. Transfer the mixture to a food mill or mash with a fork until smooth.
Heat the butter in a sauté pan and gently sauté the apple slices to coat them in the butter until just softened.
Spread the puree evenly in the partially baked tart shell. Carefully arrange the apple slices in a neat circle around the edge, they should be tightly overlapping but not squished together. Depending on the size of your tart pan and the apples, you can repeat to create an inner circle or just fill in the center in a decorative patter. Sprinkle over the sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven until just browned and tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Pâte sucrée Makes enough for 2 tarts
1/4 cup heavy cream 2 large egg yolks 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup granulated sugar A pinch of sea salt 8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Whisk the cream and the eggs together in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter. Using your fingers, incorporate the butter until you have a coarse meal. Gradually add the cream and yolks, and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Bring the dough together with your hands to incorporate completely. Divide the dough in half, shape into disks, and wrap one of them to freeze and use later.
If the dough is soft, put it into the refrigerator for a few minutes prior to rolling. Place it on a lightly floured work surface, and sprinkle with a little bit of flour. Roll it into a 1/4-inch-thick circle, flouring as needed. Started at one side, roll and wrap the dough around the rolling pin to pick it up. Unroll the dough over the 9-inch tart pan. Gently press the dough into the pan, being careful not to stretch it as this will cause it to shrink when baking. To remove the excess dough, work your way around the edge pinching off the excess dough with your fingers. Chill for 1 hour before baking.
Recipe from Marjorie Taylor, The Cook’s Atelier