French Apple Tart
November 2, 2015 § Leave a comment
I finally got to do one of my favorite fall activities: apple picking! It’s such a classic thing to do during this time of year that it is hard for me to imagine living somewhere that doesn’t have this within driving distance. Seriously, what is better than picking your own produce, being surrounded by beautifully colored foliage, stocking up on apple cider, and stuffing your face with apple cider donuts and fritters?
I brought home some nice Cameo apples, which are perfect for snacking since they are both sweet yet slightly tart and not too soft. I also picked a bunch of Stayman apples to cook with since they are firm and tart so they don’t make desserts and savory dishes cloyingly sweet and they hold up nicely even after being cooked. I’m totally into the whole farm-to-table concept. There is something about harvesting your own produce and creating something out of it that is so satisfying and special. Plus, the freshness and pure flavor that come out of it is unbeatable.
I’m so excited to be sharing this recipe with you! Even before I went apple picking, I knew I wanted to make this French Apple Tart. I’ve been obsessed with it ever since I first made it almost four years ago because it is surprisingly so easy yet absolutely stunning and delicious!
The crust is buttery and flaky with some caramelized edges and the apples have a delicate balance of sweetness and tartness. Because of the minimal ingredients, the apples are really able to shine. I absolutely love the simplicity and beauty of this tart. It is literally comprised with butter, sugar, and apples – how can that not be amazing?
An added bonus is it looks super impressive but you and I both know how simple it was to put together! It’s so much easier and quicker than making an apple pie, plus it’s a pastry so that’s acceptable breakfast food, right?
French Apple Tart
Yield: 9 large pieces
Recipe from Ina Garten
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 12 tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 4 medium firm, tart apples (I used 2 1/2 large Stayman apples)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, small diced
- 1/2 cup apricot jelly
- 2 tbsp Calvados, rum, or water
Place flour, salt, and sugar in food processor and pulse a few times to combine, or combine ingredients in large bowl if not using a food processor. Pulse or work in the cold butter into the dry ingredients until butter resembles coarse meal and is in pea-sized pieces.
With processor running, gradually add ice water through the feed tube until dough comes together into a ball. If making by hand, drizzle in water and mix with a wooden spoon and then eventually switch to kneading with your hands.
Dump dough onto well-floured surface and quickly knead dough into a ball, making sure the dough doesn’t get too warm. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll dough into 10″ x 14″ rectangle. Trim the edges so they are straight. Place dough onto prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while apples are prepared.
For Apple Filling:
Peel apples and cut in half. Remove stems and cores using sharp knife and melon baller/spoon, respectively. Slice apples crosswise in 1/4″ thick slices.
Remove dough from refrigerator and overlap apple slices from down the middle diagonal. Continue overlapping apple slices diagonally next to the first row until pastry is completely covered (Note: I reserved the smaller apple ends to cover up the remaining small sections of pastry at the end). Sprinkle apples evenly with the full 1/2 cup sugar and butter.
Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and edges of apples start to brown. Rotate pan halfway through baking. Don’t worry if the edges burn from the apple juice – this is normal! Remove pan from oven and let rest on cooling rack.
Warm apricot jelly and Calvados in small saucepan and strain with a sieve. Brush apples and pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Carefully loosen tart from parchment paper and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.