Monday, November 21, 2011

Apple Tart

Incoming news bulletin:  You Do Not Need To Make That Second Pumpkin Pie.

Why would you make two pumpkin pies when you could make one of these easy and delicious apple tart/galettes?

Everyone likes a little variety, and besides, when there are two different desserts you get to eat two slices.  At Saturday there were four desserts, and I had four slices.  That's how the rules work, people.  Don't judge.

I am making this for one of our three Thanksgiving desserts.  And if you follow Kathy logic...that means I get to eat three desserts on Thursday.  Shucks.

This was actually my first time making "real" crust.  I followed the recipe closely (though I needed less cold water than it called for) and the dough came together more simply than I ever imagined.  Rolling out the crust is much easier than rolling out most other things I have rolled out, too.  Who knew pie crust was actually not rocket science?  (Almost everyone, it turns out, knew this before me.)

I don't have a tart pan (hint, hint), so I just threw it together in a pie dish lined with parchment paper.  In the end I just let people grab slides from the dish instead of using the overlapping parchment to lift the galette out. The pieces came out surprisingly smoothly.

The recipe is super simple and perfect just as it is.  No cinnamon is even added (though you can if you want), which will please my cinnamon-hating-but-apple-pie-loving dad.  It tastes just like the ingredients - butter, sugar, and apples - coming together in a bubbly mass straight out of your oven.

So spread the word, this apple tart is perfect for you Thanksgiving table, or any fall table.  It's just a tad more complicated than an apple crisp, but much more festive and beautiful.  That's news that's fit to print.

Alice Water's Apple Tart
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, just softened, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3-3 1/2 tablespoons chilled water

2 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly
2 tablespoon butter, melted
5 tablespoons sugar

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in bowl of stand mixer.  Add two tablespoons of butter and mix until the dough resembles coarse cornmeal.  Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and mix until the biggest pieces are the size of peas.  Dribble in the water one tablespoon at a time until the dough just holds together while mixing on low.  Form the dough into a ball and flatten into a 4-inch disk.  Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

While the dough is chilling, peel and slice apples.

Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to soften a minute.  On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to form a 14-inch disk that is 1/8 inch thick.  Dust off excess flour from the dough with your hands.

Place dough in a 9-10 inch tart pan or 9-10 inch pie dish lined with overlapping pieces of parchment.  Place apples in a ring around the edge of the dish and then fill in the center circle with apples.  (I had leftover apples - perfect for snacking!)  Fold excess dough over the top of the apples.

Brush 2 tablespoons of melted butter over apples and dough.  Sprinkle roughly 2 tablespoons of sugar on the edge of the dough and 3 tablespoons of sugar over the apples.

Bake for 45 minutes, until the dough and apples have browned.  Rotate every 15 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before digging in.

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