Monday, November 17, 2008

Mavis Makes An Apple Tart

So, um, I'm embarrassingly bad at actually posting to this blog. I made this tart in *cough* October *cough* and I'm just now writing about it today, which is also the reason for me posting twice in one day. But be gentle with me, I had my first blog related injury with this tart, I managed to drop the tart ring on my wrist directly after removing it from the oven (sadly, the pictures of said injury did not turn out.)

I picked this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen, which is such a lovely site, because it includes such specific notes about her experiences with the recipes. The best thing about this tart is how easy it is, and really, the elegance of its appearance. It was great fun to make. However, if asked about the result, I would say it's good. Not great, not something I would crave, but solidly good. So let's break out this tart.

The Dough
From Mavis Makes An Apple Tart

Part of the reason I wanted to do a blog on pie is to master pastry dough, so I am determined to try many different recipes and techniques until I am satisfied that I have a dough I can reliably make every time with consistent results. I am also unreasonably annoyed at the prevalence of the use of the food processor for every pie dough recipe, so I want to try out every possible alternative before moving to the food processor. Ironically, I am not opposed to the stand mixer, which was my tool of choice for this recipe. This recipe also had basic ingredients, but used the stand mixer to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients. After that, I think I was supposed to use my hands to add in the water, but instead, I just lazily turned the stand mixer on again. The dough combined almost immediately after I dribbled in the water into the most lovely and workable ball of dough. I believe I did not chill the dough long enough to prevent the dough from sticking slightly to my counter, but I experienced no adverse effects overall. I chose to overlap the dough, gallette style, which was rustically pleasing, but unnecessary (I always want more crust when eating pies though, so this worked out well.)

The Filling:
From Mavis Makes An Apple Tart

The filling is just apples, peeled, cored, sliced, and arranged in the dough. The tart is brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar before baking. The peels and cores are reserved to boil done with water and sugar to make a syrup that's brushed on the finished tart.

The Final Verdict
From Mavis Makes An Apple Tart

This is a dessert you can throw together on a weeknight, really, especially if you are any faster at peeling apples than I am, and I assure you, you are. The finished product was beautiful, but underwhelming in taste. The tart dough was tasty, and flaky. I think if you have local and freshly harvested apples, the tart would be fantastic, but with middling super market apples, the tart was just good. My husband's final verdict "tartuffeian" but you would need to ask him what exactly that means.

Alice Water's Apple Tart via Smitten Kitchen

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 t. sugar
1/8 t. salt
6 T. unsalted butter, softened, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
3 1/2 T. chilled water

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a mixer, add 2 T. butter, blend until dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Add rest of the butter, mix until biggest pieces look like peas. Slowly dribble in water while mixer is running until dough comes together. Flatten into a disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove, let soften so it's malleable. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 14 inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Place in a lightly greased 9-inch round tart pan. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

2 lbs apples (Golden Delicious or another tart, firm variety), peeled, cored (save peels and cores), and sliced
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
5 T. sugar
1/2 cup sugar

Overlap apples on dough in a ring 2, continue inward until you reach the center. Fold any dough hanging over pan back over the apples. Brush melted butter over the apples and dough, sprinkle the 5 T. of sugar over the apples and dough. Bake in the oven until the apples are soft with browned edges and the crust is dark golden brown, for about 45 minutes, turning the tart pan every 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place the reserved peels and cores in a saucepan, cover with water and add the 1/2 cup sugar. Simmer for 25 minutes and strain. Remove the tart from the oven, cool for 15 minutes on a rack, brush with glaze and serve.

No comments: