Sunday, October 12, 2008

Apple Tart

Yes I know, second dessert in a row. But, in my defence, the last post was for Rebecca who did make her delicous dessert!

This is a compilation of different recipes, and I think it might be more appropriately named: Brown Butter Dutch Apple Tart. The pie crust recipe is from my Better Crocker cookbook. The apple filling is from Fine Cooking's Apple Brown-Butter Jalouise. The dutch apple topping is from I thought I had my Mother-in-Law's recipe, but it now appears I don't! Her's is much better than the one I used.

I chose to make a tart instead of a pie for two reasons: First, I think tarts look better, second, they are not as tall, so it is easier to get a small slice. I really like the rippled edge of my tart pan, and all tart pans in general. Greg gave this one to me a few years ago from Christmas. Talk about a gift that gives back! =). Well, here is a picture of the tart edge. You can see the apple filling bubbled over a bit. I would recommend baking this one top of a jelly roll pan. I did that, and there were some spills and splatters on it.

I doubled the pie crust and pie filling recipe, but left the crumb topping a single. My Mother-in-Law's recipe makes a tall crumb top, and I assumed this recipe would do the same. But, I really like that on this tart the topping is spread out and you can see the apples. It gives it kind of a elegant rustic feel. Greg really enjoyed this, too. The only complaint I have is that the butter flavor in the filling is really strong. I'll probably at least half, if not quarter it for next time. A nice hint of the butter would be nice, and add a little something extra to traditional apple pie filling. I will be curious to see how reducing the butter changes how the apples cook, though.

Recipe: Doubled version of filling & crust. Makes 1 11 inch pie tart, serves 12.

6 apples, peeled, halved, cored and sliced. (I took a metal 1/4 tsp spoon and scooped out the core)
1/2 C brown sugar
1 1/2 ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla

2 C. flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 C + 2 tbs shortening
4-6 tbs cold water

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 stick butter

-Make the pie crust first. Sift flour and salt together. Cut in the cold butter until it forms pea sized balls. Slowly add in water (1 tbs at a time) until you can gather it and form a ball. Mix with your hands (it will work much better). Make one flattned ball, chill for atleast 45 minutes.

-Roll out the pie dough on a floured surface. Should be about 3 inches larger on each side than the tart pan. I prefer to gently fold my pie crusts into quarters and pick it up, opposed to lifting it with the rolling pin. Press dough into the tart pan. Fold edges over and into the pan, pressing down on the sides. Bake at 375 degress for 5 minutes. Press down bubbles and let cool to room temp.

-Peel, core and slice apples. If they are going to sit for a while, toss them with lemon juice to keep from browning. Once they are peeled, toss with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

-In a large stock pot, melt and brown the butter. Once browned, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Because the alcohol will evaporate, expect an unusually strong scent from the vanilla. You can inhale alcohol through evaporation, so if you are weary of that, please don't add in the vanilla at this point.

-Make the dutch apple topping: Mix flour and sugar together. Add butter, cut in until pea sized balls form.

-Add in the apples. Stir to coat with the butter/vanilla mixture. Stir occasionally for 5-10 minutes. Longer if your apple slices are thick. Remove from heat. At this point, you may also stir in the vanilla.

-Pour into the pie crust, juices and all. Top with dutch apple topping. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until topping has started to turn golden and the crust has pulled away from the tart pan a bit.

-Let sit for at least 30 minutes.