Thursday, December 23, 2010

Apple Tart

Apple tart's are usually one of my favorite pastry shop dishes - they're beautiful, simple, and tasty. I feel like people are always impressed with a dessert that looks amazing because they think it's so difficult to make. But joke's on them! This is a super easy and quick dessert, in fact, I think the toughest part is pounding the dough to fit perfectly into the tart pan! It's especially delicious because I pour the extra liquid that's left in the bowl from tossing the apple slices in the cinnamon sugar onto the tart before I put it back in the oven, and that extra sugar caramelizes and leaves a nice crunch on the edge. 

In October, the wine society at Wash U (Sidebar) had a small dinner pairing party called "Dine and Imbibe." I made an "Apple Six-Ways" dessert that included a piece of apple tart and it was definitely a hit! I think there's something to be said about making something that's a "french" dessert and being able to execute well. It really instills baking confidence and really makes it apparent how easy it is to cook and bake. Well not easy but easier at least!
Apple Tart
now playing: Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics
now drinking: Washington Riesling
inspired by: Laura Calder and Ina Garten

For the crust:
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour

For the filling:
8 ounces softened mascarpone (or cream cheese) at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the top of the tart:
3 apples peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
Slivered almonds or chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 400℉ 

1. Make crust: cream butter and sugar. Stir in the vanilla. Finally, mix in the flour to make a smooth dough. Press into bottom of an 8-inch tart pan, giving about a 1-inch rim. Bake 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove tart shell from oven.

2. While the crust bakes, beat together the mascarpone, sugar, egg and vanilla for the cream filling until smooth. To keep apples from oxidizing, put apples slices into bowl of Sierra Mist or Sprite, or some sort of citrusy soda. Make the topping by tossing the apple slices with the cinnamon, sugar, and nuts. I usually quarter the apples and then slice the apples on a mandoline so I get really fine even slices. 

3. Spread cream mixture over crust. Arrange apple slices on top and then scatter over additional nuts. Bake until apples are tender and golden, about 40 minutes. Cool completely, then slice into 8 pieces, and serve with whip cream or ice cream. 

1 comment:

  1. OK, your adventures in the kitchen are amazing. I'm at my desk salivating. Is it lunch, yet? It was an absolute DELIGHT to meet you guys at Taste last night!