Monday, January 10, 2011

Dorie Greenspan's Alsatian Apple Tart

 We were sent some Piñata apples for review, so I decided to try Dorie Greenspan's Alsatian Apple Tart. I finally found not one, but two tart pans (thanks Marshalls!) so I was really happy to be making this. If you don't have a tart pan, with a removable bottom, then you could use a spring form pan as well. This recipe is SO easy, once the tart crust is cooled it's oven ready in just minutes. This tart is delicious (as many of Dorie's recipes are) and the kids especially  loved it.

Alsatian Apple Tart

1 9" tart shell made with Sweet Tart Dough, partially baked & cooled (see below)
1 pound apples - about 3 medium apples (I used Piñata apples)
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
Peel the apples, cut them in half from top to bottom and remove the cores. Cut the apple halves lengthwise into thick slices (about 1/4 to 1/2" thick), I got 12 wedges from one apple. Lay them in the tart shell, overlapping a little.
Whisk together the cream, sugar, whole egg, yolk and vanilla and pour over the apples.
Bake the tart for 50-55 minutes or until the apples can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Transfer to a cooling rack. Serve at room temperature with a powdered sugar dusting.

Sweet Tart Dough

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (4 1/2 ounces) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

To make the dough: Put the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely - you'll have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pea-size pieces and that's just fine. Stir the egg, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each - until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before your reaches this clumpy stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change - heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface.

Very lightly and sparingly knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

Butter the tart pan and press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Don't be stingy - you want a crust with a little heft because you want to be able to both taste and feel it. Also, don't be too heavy-handed - you want to press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but you don't want to press so hard that the crust loses its crumbly shortbreadish texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

To partially bake the crust: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil tightly against the crust. Bake the crust 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack; keep it in its pan.

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