October 16, 2009

Rustic Apple Tart

2 small apples: halved, peeled, and cored (personally I like using Gala for this)
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/6 cup sugar (or just less than 1/4 cup), plus more for sprinkling
2 heaping tablespoons apple butter
2 teaspoons unsalted, room temp butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
3 tablespoons apricot or apple jam
Pate Brisee (recipe follows)
1 egg beaten with 1 tbs of water (egg wash)

-Preheat oven to 400, and line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper
-Cut the apple halves into 1/4 inch thick slices
-Combine apples, sugar, lemon, and cinnamon in a bowl, set aside.
-Roll out the dough into two rounds roughly the size of a salad plate or 8.5" - 9" inches wide, and less than a ¼” inch thick
-Place rounds on baking sheet, and spread 1 heaping tbs of apple butter on each round, leaving a 1" border
-Arrange apples on the dough, making sure to keep within clear of the 1"
-Fold the extra dough over the apples, creating the "crust" to the tart
-Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
-Dot each tart with 1 tsp butter, (only the apples, not on the dough)
-Bake for 30-40 minutes or until dough is golden brown
-While tarts are cooling, melt the jam with 1 tbs of water over high heat. While glaze is still warm and melted, glaze the apples, and lightly glaze the crust. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and serve.

*This is wonderful with ice cream, whipped cream, or my favorite, a dollop of crème fraiche.

Pate Brisee
(Personally, I like doing this all by hand, but if you'd rather use a food processor you can, right up to the kneading.)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup cold water

-Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl
-Add butter and using your fingers, combine everything until it looks like parmesan cheese
-Slowly add the water until it just comes together
-Knead on a lightly floured surface until uniform and smooth (don't over knead though! You'll have tough thick overly elastic dough)
-Make two discs and wrap each in plastic wrap.
-Refrigerate to rest for at least an hour. (You can freeze the dough for up to two weeks as long as it’s really well wrapped in both wax or freezer paper and plastic wrap)

*Dirty little secret. If you can't be bothered to, or the thought of making dough from scratch makes you nervous (nothing to be ashamed of by the way), I HIGHLY recommend Pillsbury's Pie Crust. They come two to a box, individually wrapped, and already rolled into circles so all you have to do is defrost, unroll and bake. I promise you they taste wonderful, not at all like frozen pie crust. You can usually find them in the refrigerated section of the market, near the biscuits and butter.


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