Tis the season, the smell of apples, cinnamon, and butter always brings me back to pastry school in Paris, perhaps because the scent reminded me of home or holidays, and it was my first tart I could somewhat relate to as an American. It felt like a really chic "apple pie."This classic French Tart is great dish to bring to the party, not only is it pretty but always wins over guests. Bon Appétit!
Prep Time: 2 hrs | Cook Time: 1 hour | Yields 8
Crust: (In France we weigh all our ingredients in grams. I find it to be more precise)
1 ¼ cups flour (150 g)
1 tbsp sugar (12 g)
¼ tsp salt (1.5 g)
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed (120 g)
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp ice water (30 ml)
5 Fiji apples, peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
2 tbsp sugar (25 g) ( add as desired if using tart granny apples)
¼ cup of water (60 ml) (optional if apples are juicy not needed, can also substitue for apple cider)
1/8 tsp of cinnamon (2 g)
1 Vanilla Pod (madagascar)
1/4 stick butter
3 Fiji apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/8 ” thin (mandolin for slicing)
½ tsp of sugar (2 g)
2 tbsp apricot jam
2 tbsp tiny cubed butter
In school we made everything by hand, so despite having a kitchen aid I find the results to be more rewarding by working the dough hands on. You may follow the process and use a mixer to save time.
1. Combine all dry ingredients sift flour to eliminate any excess clumps, add salt, and sugar. (whisk) Place on work surface or in blender. Make a well add egg in center and cold water, slow using hands incorporate the mixture into dough until course texture. Add small diced cold butter and with pressure start to press the butter into the flour while creating what feels like a smearing effect. (Scraping will help to get a homogenous texture) and the hands will help to heat the butter. Once smooth, flour the surface and roll into a ball then disc with rolling pin. Dust with flour wrap in plastic and allow to cool in fridge 30 min.
2. Peel and core apples. In a large pot add butter, apples, cinnamon, vanilla, pinch of lemon juice, and sugar. Allow to cook until softened on a simmering heat. I personally prefer it thick, rather then a purée and love the diced apples to remain semi soft. Once cooked place into bowl, plastic wrap and cool in fridge while you continue prep.
3. On a floured surface roll out your dough, line your 9" tart ring with butter and flour to prevent dough from sticking. Line ring with dough over a baking tray with wax paper. Place in freezer while you prep your toppings.
4. Peel and core apples. Slice in half and use mandolin to slice very thin. Place in bowl with a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent from oxidation. (browning)
5. Remove tart from freezer, add compote and smooth evenly with spatula. For the topping I start from the outer layer creating a spiral and overlapping until you reach the center. I leave a little hole in the center for steam to escape and design.
6. Sprinkle sugar and small tiny cubes of butter on top. Bake at 400 F for 15 min. Reduce to 350 F and bake for 35 min or once golden in color. Technique for browning the apples is to broil for 1 to 2 min. Glaze with warm apricot jam using a pastry brush. I often make a simple syrup water/sugar if I don't have jam.
7. There is many delicious accompaniments such as vanilla ice cream, chantilly whipped cream or creme fresh that can be served with this beautiful dish.