Apples, apples, everywhere:)
Pure happiness. The joy of standing in the grass barefoot and looking at apples, apples everywhere and imaging and drooling a bit of what can be made of these luscious pieces of fruit;) Too bad Eve got the bad rap with an apple, loads of codswallup if you ask me;)
This is seriously my favourite time of year at the ranch in Baja, yes, apples, old heirloom varieties that have long been forgotten for the blandness of Red Delicious and MacIntosh, soft supermarket fare that I can not, and will not buy. As we are not in Baja, although I ate enough for a family of 5 while I was there 10 days ago, I had the craving to cook with these beauties so off we went on a friend’s recommendation to Ireland’s Blueberries and Apples.
From ancient standards to newer dwarf trees the branches were laden with fruit. We picked up a bag of Snow’s (They are an all-purpose apple with snow-white flesh and a distinctive flavour. They originated in France and have been grown in Canada since the 1600s) and a variety bag to sample the others in season.
Can you say aromatic, the truck smelled of ripe apples the whole way back to Perth. Now to find the recipe, Julia Child, Tart aux pommes:)
Apple Tart (Tarte Aux Pommes)
Adapted from Mastering The Art of French Cooking
Makes 8 servings
Partially-cooked 10-inch tart shell ( recipe below)
4 lbs. apples
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup apricot preserves, forced through a sieve
1/4 cup apple brandy, rum or cognac; or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter
(optional) 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, grated rind of 1 lemon or orange
1/2 cup apricot glaze (see below)
1/2 cup apricot preserves, forced through a sieve
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Mix the preserves and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes (225-228 degrees on a candy thermometer) until glaze is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If boiled above 228 degrees, glaze will harden when cool. Apply while still warm or reheat before using.
1.) Quarter, core, and peel the apples. Slice 3 cups worth into 1/8-inch lengthwise slices. Toss sliced apples in a bowl with lemon juice and sugar. Set aside.
2.) Cut the rest of the apples into slices (about 8 cups). Place in a large heavy saucepan and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat for about 20 minutes until apples are tender. Beat in apricot preserves, alcohol (or vanilla), sugar, butter, and cinnamon and zest (if using). Turn up heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thick.
3.) Preheat oven to 375F. Spread the applesauce in the partially-baked pastry shell. Arrange sliced apples in an overlapping layer or concentric circles.
4.) When oven has preheated, bake the tart in the upper third of the oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the apples are tender. Slide tart onto a cooling rack and paint a light layer of apricot glaze over the top. Serve warm or cold.
- 1⅓ c. all-purpose flour (182 g)
- 3 tbsp. granulated sugar (38 g)
- ⅛ tsp. baking powder
- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled (71 g)
- 2 tbsp. shortening, chilled (28 g)
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. ice water
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- Place the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl and lightly mix to combine.
- Cut the chilled butter and vegetable shortening into ½ inch cubes and add to the bowl with the dry ingredients.
- Rub the fat and dry ingredients together rapidly with the tips of your fingers until the fat is broken into bits the size of small oatmeal flakes.
- Gently blend in the egg and vanilla, and knead the dough rapidly into a ball.
- Place the flour, sugar, and baking powder into the bowl of the processor and pulse once or twice to combine.
- Cut the chilled butter and vegetable shortening into ½ inch cubes. Add the butter to the bowl with the dry ingredient and pulse several times until the fat is broken into bits the size of small oatmeal flakes. Add the egg and vanilla, and pulse several more times just until the dough begins to mass on the blade. Be careful not to over mix.
- Let the chilled dough rest on the counter for 10 minutes to soften slightly.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of wax paper to prevent sticking.
- Carefully remove the top layer of wax paper and invert the disc of dough into the pan. Remove the other piece of wax paper and gently press the crust into the shape of the pan. Any cracks or holes can be patched with excess dough or by pressing the edges together.
- Trim the edges by rolling a rolling pin on top of the pan or by trimming with a knife along the edge of the pan.
- Chill the crust before baking. I like to put it in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour.
- When you are ready to bake the crust, preheat the oven to 375 °F.
- Line the chilled dough with parchment paper or foil.
- Fill the inside with pie weights or beans and bake until the edges just begin to brown. The time will vary depending on the size of the tart pans used, the material the pans are made of, and the varying heat of individual ovens. This could take approximately from 10 to 20 minutes
- Remove the pie weights, prick the bottom of the tart with a fork in several places, and continue baking the tart crust a few more minutes until the center of the crust is golden.
yum…a whole afternoons work but worth every minute of it!