Not sure what is it about Ina Garten's recipes that makes me want to try them - maybe the whole concept of going back to basics ?
Regardless of the reason, she somehow manages to pull off a great dish every time and so is it with this French Apple Tart which many people have made, but substituted the homemade pastry with store bought puff pastry.
I wanted to taste the original thing and really went ahead and worked on the tart crust and let me tell you - it was worth the work !
I got the recipe from HERE, but there is also an interesting interview along with the recipe HERE.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 4 Granny Smith apples
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, small-diced
- 1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam
- 2 tablespoons Calvados, rum or water
To make pastry, place flour, salt and sugar in bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add butter and pulse 10 to 12 times or until butter is pea-sized. With motor running, pour ice water down feed tube and pulse just until dough starts to come together. Dump onto floured board. Knead quickly into ball and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Roll dough slightly larger than 10 by 14 inches. Using ruler and small knife, trim edges. Place dough on prepared sheet pan. Refrigerate while preparing apples.
Peel apples. Cut in half through stem. Using sharp knife and melon baller, remove stems and cores. Slice apples crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down middle of tart. Make diagonal rows on both sides of first row until pastry is covered with apple slices. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar. Dot with butter.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until pastry is browned and edges of apples start to brown. Rotate pan once during cooking. (Note: If pastry puffs up in one area, cut little slit with knife to release air. Don't worry! Apple juices will burn in pan, but tart will be fine.)
To glaze: Heat apricot jelly and Calvados. Brush over apples and pastry. Using metal spatula, loosen tart so it doesn't stick to paper. Cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
My thoughts on this tart are as follows:
- well worth the effort put into making it
- try this tart crust she gives the recipe for
- substitute the sugar with splenda
- cut the apples to 1/8 inch thickness as 1/4 is a bit too thick (or maybe it's just me ?)
- keep the dough in the fridge while working on the apples
- you don't need to start layering he aples on the diagonal, you can do it any way you want as it is YOUR tart
- choose a pan with rims so the juices that the apples produce do not end up spilling and smoking in the oven
- try half the recipe to begin with so you do not have too much left over OR you do not end up eating all that yummy tart all by yourself in one sitting (yes, it's THAT good)
- use Granny Smith apples
- use a silpat or parchment paper so you don't end up scraping it off the bottom of the pan
- make it look pretty as the visual effect has a lot to do with liking a dish
- I did not want to use apricot jam and used my Orange Reduction that I heated up in the microwave and brushed it over with a silicone pastry brush
- keeps well in the fridge and heats well in the toaster oven
- I will make it again, but not too soon as it has butter in it and butter means cholesterol
- watch it closely so it does not burn
- the more browned and crisp the crust gets, the better it will taste