Saturday, October 17, 2009

FRENCH APPLE TART




For the pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water

For the apples:

4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced
1/2 cup apricot or apple or peach jelly/preserves
2 tablespoons rum, or water

Directions
For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

(If you don't have a food processor you can just use a bowl and a pastry blender or fork to blend in the butter)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and roll it out, refrigerate while you prepare the apples.

Core and peel the apples and cut them in half. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples straight down, in a circle or diagonally on the tart and continue making rows until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.) Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don’t worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine! When the tart’s done, heat the apricot jelly together with the rum and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn’t stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

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