Friday, October 22, 2010

Rustic Free-form Apple Tart

This has been my month to really see more of Michigan. My parents came for a visit last week and we headed up to the Leelanau Peninsula where we enjoyed gorgeous weather and saw beautiful places like the Sleeping Bear Dunes (below).   

Before we went north, I treated them to a home-cooked dinner of pure comfort foods: deviled egg hors d'oeuvres made spicy with Sriracha, my favorite mac n cheese with ham and a free form apple tart for dessert.

It's the tart I'm going to share with you today. It was heavenly. It was perfect warm with a little round scoop of vanilla ice cream. The crust is so lighty, flaky and packed with flavor. Plus it was quite easy to put together — really.

Free-form Apple Tart
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
About 1/2 cup ice water
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 1 teaspoon juice
4 Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 large egg white, beaten
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the flour with 1 teaspoon of the sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the butter and mix at low speed until it is the size of small peas, 30 seconds. With the machine on, gradually add 1/4 cup of the ice water. Add as much of the remaining ice water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is just evenly moistened (it shouldn't mass on the paddle). Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour or overnight.

This is how my dough looked poured out on the counter.
This is probably the first dough I've made where I didn't have to add all the ice water. 
Preheat the oven to 400° and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 17-inch round, then trim it to a neat 16-inch round. Transfer the dough to the cookie sheet.
What's funny about this picture? Read the directions carefully. Are you laughing yet?
In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Add the apples and lemon juice and toss well. Arrange the apples on the dough in 2 concentric circles, leaving a 3-inch border all around. Fold the edge of the dough up and over the apples, overlapping the dough on itself as needed. Brush the rim with the egg white and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
Yes, that's right. I put the whole dang thing together — before transferring the dough to the cookie sheet! I managed to slide it on there without too much damage, but really, wouldn't recommend this technique.
Bake the pie in the center of the oven until the crust is golden and firm and the apples are tender, about 55 minutes. Transfer the cookie sheet to a rack to cool. Slide the pie onto a plate, cut into wedges and serve.

When the dough comes out of the frig, it is quite hard and difficult to roll out for this reason. But just keep working at it, it will happen. Plus, it didn't get all crumbly and fall apart as I was assembling it. Try it — you'll love it!

1 comment:

  1. Looks quite beautiful and tasty too!