This week the Tuesdays with Dorie group is baking a French Apple Tart from page 379 of the book Baking with Julia (as in Julia Child) by Dorie Greenspan.
I've been on vacation for a couple of weeks and wanted to make something impressive to take to my colleagues who helped keep things running smoothly.
This recipe involves making a pie dough, an apple puree, and an apple flower thingy on the top of the puree. I made this tart all at once, but you can make the pie dough and apple puree in advance and assemble the whole thing a couple of days later. In fact, the dough is freezable.
I followed this recipe pretty much as described in the book. Each bake in the oven took longer that the author described, but that seems to be a pattern with this book. (Although I've checked it, I may need to re-check my oven's temperature...) The one thing I did differently, which was probably not necessary, was to brush the top of the tart with an apricot glaze. I was a little worried that the apple slices were too dry from the extended baking.
The dough is really flaky and contains no sugar, so the contrast between the dough and the apple puree is just amazing.
So here's how it's done...
Make a really flaky savory dough and blind bake it (cover it in parchment and fill with rice, dried beans, or pie weights) in a nine inch tart pan.
Make an apple puree with roasted apples... really just homemade chunky applesauce. I kept mine really chunky.
Spread the puree in the dough lined tart pan.
Top with a floret of very thinly sliced apples.
Bake until the edges if the apple slices are kind of burned.
Cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar, (or in my case, spread with an apricot glaze), slice, and enjoy.
To make the optional apricot glaze, melt apricot jam with apple juice or cider, and brush over the apples after removing the tart from the oven.
As a side note, this pie dough was so easy to work with. It is a mixture of pastry flour, salt, butter, chilled shortening, and ice water. It requires very little handling and is amazingly, amazingly flaky. The only issue is that without the addition of sugar, it takes longer to brown.
To see the actual recipe, visit Laws of the Kitchen.
I am definitely making this again.