French Apple Tart

There is Apple Pie, and there's Apple Pie. There's the best ever Apple Pie, The tastiest, the quickest, the "every thing a pie is and can be" pie. But this is not an Apple Pie. This a tart - a French Apple Tart (also, I lost count of the number of times I said Apple Pie - and there, I said it once more)

There's a season for everything, and for apples, that's autumn. And I made this tart in winter. So posting it in the thick of summer may not really be ideal, but I couldn't put it off any more. It's still perfect for day when it's raining and chilly all you want to have is something warm with your cup of tea (or coffee).

tarte aux pommes

I first got fascinated by the whole French Apple Tart, rossette patterned, flaky pastry when I saw it in my RSS, where the said dish had apples laid out so beautifully, it could sit proudly as a mantle piece and no one would be wiser (and realise, it's actually something to eat).

baked apple tart
 There are many versions of a French Apple Tart, or a tarte aux pommes, the more traditional French name. Some are filled with a luscious apple sauce and topped with apple slices, some are made with a filling of apples and breadcrumbs topped with apple slices and the incredible Julia Child's French Tart, Apple style (and she makes three different ones - Tarte aux Pommes Classique, Tarte des Demoiselles, and Tartin!)

The tart has a buttery shortcrust pastry (that you don't need to pre-bake - bonus!) and layers and layers of apple slices laid out in a rosette pattern and dotted with butter and sugar. As the butter and sugar melt in the oven, the apple slices slowly absorb all the butter to become soft, juicy and irresistible. Some of the sugar caramelises on the slices, giving the slices the colour of burnished gold and a crackly top. The tart is almost always glazed with a apricot jam - it gives the tart a lovely golden bronze glow, adding a sweet and tangy layer to every bite.

french apple tart

French Apple Tart
Adapted mostly from Sara Moulton's French Apple tart on Saveur

You need -

1 1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
8 tbsp. salted butter - cold
3-4 tbsp. Ice cold water

3-4 (Golden Delicious) apples, peeled, cored, and halved
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp salted butter

1/4 cup apricot jam

Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving

1. Cut the cold butter into 1 inch cubes. If it's too warm in the kitchen and the butter starts to melt, put it back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

2. Seive the flour and add it to the food processor. Add the butter and pulse until pea-size crumbles form. Pour in 3 tbsp. ice-cold water and pulse until dough is moistened (not more than 1 minute) and form moist clumps. Transfer this dough to a plastic cling film, cover it up and then form into a flat disk; leave to refrigerate for 1 hour.

mix butter and flour

3. Unwrap dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough into a 10 inch circle and then transfer to a 8 inch tart pan with a removable bottom, trim the edges and chill for 1 hour.

4.  Pre heat oven to 190ยบ C. Cut the apples into halves and slice thinly into sections keeping the slices together. Place1 fanned apple half on outer edge of the tart dough, convave side pointing outward. Fill the tart base similarly with the sliced apple halves till they form an outer ring. Take more applehaves and start filling the centre, layering them to form a tight rose pattern. Fill any gaps with more apple halves. Cut 2 tsps of butter into small pieces and dot them in between the apples. Then sprinkle with sugar.  Bake until golden brown, for about 40 - 45minutes.

5. In a small saucepan, heat  the apricot jamuntil it is warm and fairly liquid.  Once the tart is done,  using a pastry brush, brush top of tart with jam. Let cool completely before slicing and serving with whipped vanilla cream.


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