Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Joy Of Baking French Apple Tart

My daughter took French this year. Her teacher thought it would be nice to have a little party featuring French foods. Of course I love to bake, I've been baking for school functions for almost 12 years. Well, my daughter came home with the teacher's request for her...a French Apple Tart.  Really?
Well, OK, I pulled out the recipe and realized it wasn't going to be quick. My daughter wanted to help, but I wanted her to do her homework first. The amount of homework in high school is astronomical! Needless to say she was doing homework, as usual, well into the evening. The tart LOOKED wonderful, but I couldn't taste it! Of course I could have cut it into slices for the party and kept one for myself. I didn't. Luckily, there was a sliver left and my daughter brought it home for me. It was DELICIOUS!

If you have a little time, this is a great dessert. But, next time I'd make this for a special occasion, not a high school French class!

To follow is the recipe from The Joy Of Baking-FRENCH APPLE TART

Sweet Pastry Crust:
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purposeflour
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated whitesugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) room temperature unsaltedbutter
1 large egg
For the Apple Filling:
6 medium-sized apples(2 pounds) (900 grams) (Granny Smith or other firm textured apple)
3 tablespoons (40 grams) unsaltedbutter, divided
1/4 - 1/2 cup (50 - 100 grams) granulated whitesugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, divided

Confectioners' Sugarfor browning the top of the tart.
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup (120 ml) apricot preserves
1 tablespoon Cognac, Calvados, Rum or Water

Sweet Pastry Crust:  Place thebutterin your mixer and beat until softened. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg, beating just until incorporated. (Don't over mix or the butter will separate and lighten in color.) Add flour and salt and mix just until it forms a ball. (Don't overwork or pastry will be hard when baked.) Flatten dough into disk, cover withplasticwrap, and refrigerate about one hour or until firm.
Have ready an 8 - 9 inch (20 - 23 cm) tart pan with removable bottom. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into an 11 - 12 inch (28 - 30 cm) circle that is about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform thickness). 
When the pastry is the desired size, lightly roll pastry around your rolling pin, dusting off any excess flour as you roll. Unroll onto top of tart pan. Never pull pastry or you will get shrinkage (shrinkage is caused by too much pulling of the pastry when placing it in the pan). Gently lay in pan and with a small floured piece of pastry, lightly press pastry into bottom and up sides of pan. Roll your rolling pin over top of pan to get rid of excess pastry. With a thumb up movement, again press dough into pan. Prick bottom of dough (this will prevent the dough from puffing up as it bakes). Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes to chill the butter and to rest the gluten.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line the unbaked pastry shell with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill tart pan with pie weights or beans, making sure the weights are to the top of the pan and evenly distributed over the entire surface.  Bake crust for 20 to 25 minutes until crust is dry and lightly browned. Remove weights and cool crust on wire rack. 
ForAppleTart:  For bottom layer of apples: Peel, core, and slice three of the apples. In a large skillet melt 1 tablespoon (13 grams) unsalted butter and stir in between 2 - 4 tablespoons (25 - 50 grams) of the sugar, the lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Add the apples and saute over moderateheat, stirring occasionally for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the apples are soft. Gently mash the apples with the back of a spatula or spoon and stir the mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool.
For top layer of apples: Peel, core, and cut the apples into slices 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick.  Melt 1tablespoon(13 grams) butter in a large skillet over medium heat and stir in the other 2 - 4 tablespoons (25 - 50 grams) sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Add the apples and saute until they begin to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Set the cooked apples aside.
Spoon the applesauce mixture into the cooled pre-baked tart shell. Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles over the applesauce, and brush with 1 - 2 tablespoons (13-26 grams) melted butter. Bake the tart on a baking sheet in a preheated 350 degree F (177 degree C) oven for 25 -30 minutesor until the apples are nicely browned and soft.  Remove from oven and sprinkle the tart with confectioners' sugar, cover the edges of tart with foil, and broil it under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat until the edges of the apples are golden brown and crisp. Once the tart has cooled lightly glaze the apple slices with warm apricot glaze.
Apricot Glaze:In a small saucepan heat the apricot preserves until boiling. Remove from heat and strain to get rid of lumps.  Add the Cognac or water.  Use this glaze to seal the baked tart shell and to brush the top of the finished tart.
Serve the tart warm or at room temperature with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Makes 1 - 8 or 9 inch (20 or 23 cm) tart.
Source: From the Editors of Gourmet.The Best of Gourmet 1992
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Red Door Kitchen said...

It looks delicious! My daughter took French last year, and I made eclairs for their end of the year party.

Beautiful job with arranging the apple slices :)

I found you via Foodie Friday @ Designs By Gollum.

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

How fabulous it looks. I just hope those highschool kids appreciated it.

Kate said...

Your tart is gorgeous! Anything that pretty has to taste good too!

Martha said...

This looks really good!

LDH said...

A most delicious looking apple tart! I have enjoyed perusing many of your posts ~ sweet place you have here. So nice stopping by to meet you :)

Kindly, Lorraine

Abby said...

Beautiful tart! I love how it glistens.

Red Rose Alley said...

Your French Apple Tart looks incredible! Apple desserts always remind me of the Fall. I think that is great that your daughter took a French class this year. Nel also wants to learn French. It is such a talent when one can speak different languages. I want a piece of that dessert! Have a beautiful weekend.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

Gloria said...

I love this tar look delicious! gloria

Kristin said...

Yummy, this looks delicious! I could just dig right in.
Holy Cannoli Recipes

Wit,wok and wisdom said...

Hello dear Poppi Linn!
Its my first time on your space here and I must tell you that you have an amazingly beautiful blog!I loved trawling around your space and I must say you are a beautiful painter - loved your watercolors:)Thanks so much for visiting my space and glad that you liked my recipe - so nice knowing you dear!


Miz Helen said...

Hi Lynn,
Your French Apple Tart is absolutely beautiful, oh how I would just love to have a slice of that tart. I love your yellow teapot, I have a purple one just like it, don't you just love it? Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you again real soon. Hope you are having a great week!
Miz Helen

kitty said...

Lynn, your french apple tart looks divine! I wish I could share a slice with you.

Miz Helen said...

Congratulations Lynn,
You are featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Enjoy your feature and have a wonderful week end!
Miz Helen

Jenn said...

Okay okay - your posts are killing me ...
I've been scrolling down, viewing and reading as you may know . . . THAT is a work of art! I bet the kids don't forget that ... wonder who you inspired of the kids ... something to ponder, huh?
Thanks, Jenn

Design Dork said...

This looks beautiful and delicious!

Val said...

Wow, I'd love a slice of this with my morning coffee!