Monday, April 4, 2011

Simple Apple Tart

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One of the first words my baby (now a very busy & talkative 18 month old) said was 'apple'. She ate only apples for a long time because that was the only food she knew how to ask for! Poor baby! :) But she still loves apples! And this week, I found a great bargain. I love when that happens! I found really beautiful Granny Smith apples at an amazing price - one-fourth the normal price. I bought four.

Then the debate began. Apple pie? Apple cake? Apple muffins? Well, my husband loves apple pie. And I prefer muffins. But I figured, if I make what HE likes, I would eat less and therefore, less calories!

I have been curious about apple tarts for a while now. They are not popular here and I have never eaten one. So after some research, I decided to try making one.

I used my favorite crust recipe. I have never been very pleased with the fact that it has a little vegetable shortening in it. I prefer going the all-butter route - for health reasons. But, this crust is just not the same with just butter. The tiny bit of shortening makes the crust really flaky and crumbly. It is an awesome crust. Very easy to work with, too!

Personally, I found the tart a little egg-y when eaten warm but very nice when served cold. My daughter devoured it warm though. So, I guess it's just a question of preference!

I hate how my pictures have turned out this time, but I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I am not a very good photographer! I hope I get better real soon. At least for the sake of you kind souls who still visit my blog!

Apple Tart
Adapted from a recipe by Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau 
Crust ingredients
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cold & cut into small pieces
2 tbsp shortening
1-3 tbsp ice-cold water

Filling ingredients
3 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored, and sliced lengthways
3 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup light cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

Method for crust
  1. If making in a food processor, add all the ingredients except the water into the processor and pulse until you achieve breadcrumb-like texture. 
  2. Transfer to a bowl or your counter and add a tablespoon of ice cold water and form the dough.
  3. If making the crust by hand, mix the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl.
  4. Add the pieces of butter and the shortening and mix into the flour using only your fingertips, until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  5. Add the water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time until the dough just starts to come together. (I needed only 1 1/2 tbsp of water.) Do not over-work the dough.
  6. Shape into a thick disc and wrap in clingfilm.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out and lining your pie tin.
Method for filling
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Whisk the sugar and eggs in a medium bowl until pale in color.
  3. Add the milk, light cream and vanilla and whisk until well to form your custard base.
  4. Layer the apple slices in the unbaked pie shell.
  5. Pour the custard over the apple slices.
  6. Sprinkle the cinnamon lightly over the top of the tart.
  7. Bake for about an hour or until the crust is golden, the custard has set and the apple slices are soft.

As the recipe I based this on suggests, I intended to brush the top of the tart with an apricot glaze. But, as soon as the tart was out of the oven, my daughter wanted a slice and we ended up eating half the pie before I realized that I forgot to brush the glaze on! The tart didn't look as shiny and pretty as I intended it to, but it still tasted pretty darn good!
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Unknown said...

Such a beautiful crust and love the way you have spread the applce slices.... Must be absolutely delicious too:)

Kim K. said...

I'm loving this tart! Apple is one of my favorite tarts and yours is just beautiful. I'm not usually patient enough to make them look so pretty, but you have inspired me!

The Harried Cook said...

@Malli & Kim - Thank you you so much! :)

Kaitlin said...

Cute story about your daughter! That's very sweet.

This tart looks so yummy! I bake like you do: make something other people like more than me so they'll eat more :D

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