sometimes real life gets in the way of the things you want to be doing and it sucks!
i haven't been in the kitchen since this weekend - gasp! i have had more deadlines for "work" than i have in a long time. do you have those weeks? where you have good intentions of cooking and baking - but the real life stuff just catches up to you and says "sorry - not today".
i dug into my archives to find a recipe and photographs that i have yet to post and i found one of my staples i have been wanting to share for a long time.
this french apple tart is perfection. not only does it taste beyond lovely - it is very very simple to make. not many ingredients go into making this and i think it is the simplicity that makes it so delicious. the flaky crust - the tender apples and the punch of the apricot preserves combine to be the most tender slice of tart you could hope for. top it with creme fraiche and it is complete.
i use this dessert when i really need to impress and/or when i have company coming that i don't know very well. there is nothing worse than "flopping" with new dessert when you have guests who don't eat at your house very often. have you had this happen. it is so embarassing! i have a rule - only try out new recipes on people who really love you!
this tart will not ever disappoint you - it has yet to disappoint me.
french apple tart
sara moulton - gourmet magazine
1 recipe pastry dough, recipe follows
6 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, halved and sliced 1/8-inch thick
1/4 cup sugar (i use vanilla sugar)
1/2 stick cold butter, sliced thin
1/2 cup apricot jam, heated and strained (i never strain mine)
creme fraiche, as an accompaniment
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface roll out dough into a 13-inch round and fit it into a 10-inch tart tin with a removable fluted rim, trimming the excess.
Arrange the apples decoratively on the pastry shell, overlapping them. Sprinkle the sugar on top of the apples, top with butter slices and bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes or until the crust is cooked through and the apples are golden.
Brush with the heated (in a saucepan on the stove - low heat) apricot jam while the tart is still hot.
Serve each portion with a small scoop of ice cream or a small spoonful of whipped cream.
1 stick cold unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes.
To blend by hand: Blend together flour, butter, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender until most of mixture resembles coarse meal (roughly pea-size lumps). Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water evenly over and gently stir with a fork until incorporated.
To blend in a food processor: Pulse together flour, butter, and salt in a food processor until most of mixture resembles coarse meal (roughly pea-size lumps). Add 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse 2 or 3 times, or just until incorporated.
Test mixture: Gently squeeze a small handful: it should hold together without crumbling apart. If it doesn't, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring or pulsing 2 or 3 times after each addition until incorporated (keep testing). If you overwork mixture or add too much water, pastry will be tough.
Form dough: Turn out onto a work surface and divide into 4 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather dough together and form it, rotating it on work surface, into a disk. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.
Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie crust or a 10 to 11-inch tart crust
Dough can be chilled up to 1 day.
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