We’re breaking out the fine china for this photo!! It doesn’t get used much. A tart is a dish baked in a pastry crust that can be sweet or savory. It is usually topless and the possibilities are only limited by the creative spirit of the cook. In this recipe I will introduce to one of my all-time favorite desserts-Tarte aux Pommes-, or simply put Apple Tart. I do promise to write one or two recipes that feature a savory tart at a later date.
I first learned about Tarte aux Pommes while living in Europe as a teenager. Until then all I knew about was the traditional apple pie. At first I didn’t know what to make about this topless dessert. My doubts soon evaporated when I took the first bite. What I bit into was a piece of heaven. The smell, the sweetness, the soft texture. I wanted more. I wanted to know what other tarts I could taste. I had fallen in love.
Tarte aux Pommes is your everyday traditional apple tart sold in nearly every patisserie( pastry shop) in France. The ingredients are simple as its preparation technique. I prefer this dessert over apple pie, but that is just my taste. For this particular recipe, we used a shortbread crust. My husband and I find that the caramelizing of the short bread crust adds a new dimension to the taste and texture of this old-time French favorite. The glazing of the tart with apricot jelly certainly adds visual appeal to the dessert. Although it might be tempting to reach for that vanilla ice cream, I would skip it. The taste of this tart is amazing, just by itself. I do however recommend a nice cup of coffee or tea, and a couple of friends to share with.
It is my sincere hope that you enjoy this fabulous dessert as much as I do.
- 1¼ cups of all purpose flour, sifted
- 1 stick of butter, sliced into about 10 pieces
- 2 Tb sour cream
- 2 Tb sugar
- 3-4 large Granny Smith apples (you want a tart apple)
- ½ cup sugar
- dash of nutmeg
- 2 shots of a sweet liqueur - Calvados or Belle Paire work nicely
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- ½ cup of water
- 4 Tb. apricot jelly + 1 Tb. water
- Preheat your oven to 375'F.
- To make the crust:
- In a food processor, combine flour, butter, sour cream and sugar. Pulse until mixture looks like corn meal. Pack neatly into an ungreased tart pan and bake for about 15 minutes. Until golden brown.
- Peel, core and cut apples in thin crescent shapes. I like to use a mandolin slicer set at ⅛". Also put apple slices into a bowl of water with lemon juice to keep from browning while you work. Two of the apples should be diced finely. Place diced apples in a saucepan with the nutmeg, add the ½ cup of sugar, and the water. Cook slowly until reduced. As they soften, smash down with spoon. The texture should resemble that of a thick applesauce. Stir in the liquor until fully absorbed. Remove from stove and place in fridge for twenty minutes until cool. You do not want to place hot apple sauce on the baked tart shell.
- When pie crust is ready, remove from oven. Turn oven temperature down to 350.
- Spread the apple sauce mixture on the bottom of the baked tart.
- Glaze: In a Pyrex bowl take apricot jelly and mix with 1 TB water and heat for about 20 seconds on high.
- Take your apple slices and arrange them in neat rows slightly overlapping each other. Sprinkle with sugar (approximately ½ cup) and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until you notice that the apples are starting to get golden brown.
- Remove from oven, and using a pastry brush lightly glaze the apples. You can serve this dessert warm or cold; it is delicious either way.