I love beautiful food.
I also believe that food should not only taste good but it should look good too.
Yes this often means that it takes a bit more time to prepare but I feel it is worth it in the long run. This tart is a perfect example.
The crust is a simple pate brisee thrown together in the food processor. However, the meticulous pealing, cutting, arranging of the apple slices takes a bit of time. The finished product is stunning and, in my opinion, worth the time.
What do you think? This certainly isn’t an every day sort of desert but your family, company, or cat are sure to be impressed when you serve this.
Ok, so it is beautiful but how does it taste?
If you have ever traveled or lived in Europe you will understand what I mean when I say this tastes exactly like the apple tarts you get in a French bakery. Don’t skip the marmalade glaze as I feel it is what really elevates this from tasty to incredible.
French Apple Tart (serve 6 generous or 9 average servings)
from Ina Garten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced
1/2 cup apricot jelly (I used homemade peach jam as it was what I had on hand)
2 tablespoons rum, or water
Make the pastry: place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the 1 1/2 sticks of butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 by 14-inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.
Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baler. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices either with a sharp knife and a steady hand or a mandolin. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the 1/2 stick of butter.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. The tart may burn a bit in places but don’t worry. That’s normal. When the tart’s done, heat the apricot jelly together with the rum or water and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn’t stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.