Tarte aux pommes

The Tarte aux pommes Recipe is a French classic uses two types of apples: those that cook down to a purée, and those that keep their shape.

Chilling time:
30 mins

Special equipment:
9in (23cm) fluted tart pan baking beans

1 x 9-inch (23cm) store-bought pie dough
all-purpose flour, for dusting
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1lb 10oz (750g) cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (such as Braeburn, Granny Smith, or Honeycrisp)
1⁄2 cup sugar
finely grated zest and juice of 1⁄2 lemon
2 tbsp Calvados or brandy
2 dessert apples (such as Fuji, Gala, or McIntosh)
2 tbsp apricot jam, sieved

1 Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface and line the pan. Trim around the top of the pan and prick the pastry base with a fork. Chill the pastry crust for at least 30 minutes.

2 Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

3 Line the pastry crust with parchment paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then return to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until the pastry is a light golden color.

4 Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the cooking apples. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until soft and mushy.

5 Push the cooked apple through a sieve to produce a smooth purée, then return it to the saucepan. Reserve 1 tablespoon sugar and add the rest to the apple purée, then

6 stir in the lemon zest and Calvados. Return the pan to the heat and simmer, stirring continuously until it thickens.

7 Spoon the purée into the pastry crust. Peel, core, and thinly slice the dessert apples and arrange on top of the purée.

8 Brush with the lemon juice and sprinkle with the reserved sugar.

9 Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the apple slices have softened and are starting to turn pale golden. Use a small, sharp knife to trim the excess pastry for a neat edge.

10 Warm the apricot jam and brush it over the top. Cut into slices and serve.

The baked tart will keep in an airtight container for 2 days.

The unfilled pastry shell can be prepared ahead and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen for 12 weeks.

A glaze will help make any homemade tart look as appetizing as those in the top pâtisseries. For a red fruit tart, use warmed red currant jelly brushed over the fruits. Otherwise, as here, apricot jam is most suitable. Press the jam through a sieve first, to remove any lumps of fruit.

Tarte aux pommes
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