I'm counting days now to my dissertation due date and not too worry, I think at the moment I have it under control... though I have a feeling, a last minute meltdown might be coming sometime closer to the hand-in date. Again, not to worry, you'll know about it sooner or later. But until that day comes, I'm gonna stay focus.
Now, to this delicious and beautiful French apple tart.
After several fun twists, this month's Random Recipe challenge goes "back to basics". Strict instructions from Dom, the master of this challenge:
...line up ALL your cookbooks
...give them a shuffle
...close your eyes and pick one book randomly
...close your eyes again and open the book at a random page
...cook that exact dish
...DO NOT CHEAT
The book I picked at random is, Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics by Ina Garten. It's a coincidence, I swear.
For a really fast apple tart, you can use store bought frozen puff pastry, but just to show that I am not a cheater - well, sometimes I do cheat, but not this time - I made my own pastry.
French Apple Tart
Recipe by Ina Garten
For the pastry
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
For the apples
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced
1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam
2 tablespoons Calvados, rum or water
For the pastry, place the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the 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 200 C (400 F). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. I use one of those reusable non-stick silicone baking mat. Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 x 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 knife and melon baller. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4 inch thick slices. 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 sugar and dot with the butter.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the pastry starts 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. Don't worry! The apple juice will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine! When the tart's done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee or anything you fancy.
Have a great weekend!