my pastry of choice was always either the pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) or the tartlette with apples...
in the last season of top chef, when carla made her apple tart, it reminded me of those from poilâne. the other day i was at the market and they had the most lucious looking granny smith apples so i snatched them up, knowing exactly what i would make.
i adjusted carla's original recipe a little to my own liking. i have to be honest, it's not the easiest thing to make. not that it's that hard, it just requires some work (ie, peeling, coring and dicing 6 apples!!) but the reward is well worth it. the crust is fantasically buttery and flakey. need i say more?
rustic apple tart
makes 4 tarts
for the crust
2 cups all purpose flour
2 sticks (8oz) chilled butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 cup ice cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
in a cup, stir together the water, salt and sugar. it is important that the water is ice cold. if needed, keep the cup in the fridge until ready to use.
put the flour and butter in a large bowl. using your hands, sablage* the flour and butter together until the butter pieces are about the size of peas. put the flour and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. with the mix speed on low, slowly add the water mixture and continue to mix just until the dough comes together. DO NOT over mix. divide the dough up into 4 discs (i weighed them), wrap each with plastic film and chill for at least 30 mins.
*sablage is a french term and i'm not quite sure how to translate it into english. basically, you use your hands to rub the flour into the butter. does this make sense? (if you have a food processor, you can pulse the flour and butter together)
6 granny smith apples (approx. 2 lbs), peeled & diced
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water
in a large skillet, melt the butter. add the apples and sautée for about 3 mins. add the salt, sugars and cinnamon. mix well and cook for 5 mins. in a cup, combine the water, cornstarch and vanilla. add the water mixture to the apples and stir in quickly. lower the heat and simmer for approx 15-20 mins or until the apples become tender and caramelized. removed from heat and let the apple mixture cool completely.
1 tablespoon water
raw sugar or mixture of equal parts sugar and brown sugar
preheat oven to 375 degrees.
in a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water.
lightly flour your surface and roll out pastry disc to a 6" circle. put 1/4 of the apple filling in the middle, leaving approx. 2" border. fold the dough in, making pleats around the filling, leaving the center open. see pics below.
brush the tart generously with the egg wash, making sure you get in the folds. sprinkle with sugar. bake for 25-30 mins. or until the crust is golden brown.