FRENCH APPLE TARTE
By Jane Barton Griffith
When a good friend said she couldn’t make pie crusts, I suggested she make this French tarte. There isn’t any tricky top crust to fit on the pie and, by laying the bottom crust on a cookie sheet; it is easy to patch the dough if it tears. This recipe is truly easy to prepare and makes an impressive aesthetic impact when served. The dough and apples are thin and therefore delicate and tasty. The tarte is perfect plain, but you can serve it with vanilla ice cream or crème fraiche.
Equipment: Cookie sheet and pastry brush
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
½ cup water, with ice cubes
To make the pie dough: Place flour and salt in a medium size bowl and chop butter into size of peas, using knife in each hand or working it quickly with your fingers. Drip cold water onto flour-butter mixture and gather flour butter mixture till it holds a ball shape and is not sticky.
Knead 2-4 times until flour and butter seem fairly well blended. Chill in refrigerator several hours.
To roll out the pie dough: Sprinkle flour on a bread board or countertop and roll out the pastry crust into a rectangle shape. Transfer the crust to a cookie sheet. Trim the edges to form a rectangle 8” x 14”. Then cut a square out of each corner and wet all the dough edges with water. Fold 1/2” stripe of dough on all sides over toward center of rectangle to make a curb all the way around the rectangle. With a fork (oyster fork is perfect), press down the pastry edges. The fork will seal the edges and create a nice pattern. Gently prick the center of the rectangle of the dough to prevent the dough from buckling when it bakes. Sprinkle the interior with a light layer of sugar.
4-6 baking apples, such as Granny Smith
¼ cup white sugar
To prepare the fruit: Peel and cut apples into uniform slices. Either lay the apple slices vertically or horizontally in rows, overlapping the slices. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the edges of the dough are light brown.
1 cup apricot jam
¼ cup water
Melt apricot jam with a little water and whisk with fork until the jam is smooth. Remove tarte from oven when it is nearly cooked and coat apples and dough with apricot glaze. Return to oven and bake until the tarte is a glorious golden color. The tarte is best served warm.