Saturday, 13 August 2011

French Apple Tart

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

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
Serves 6

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!


  1. and on cue, just as I was looking for a delightful treat, here's a lovely tart that will be just perfect... 'though, I might cheat.. thanks, hope you are having a great weekend

  2. A basic, a simple...very often means delicious and irresistible!

  3. That's an awesome looking apple tartin, Michael! Great job on the pate sucree too, there's nothing quite like homemade pastry. Good luck for the dissertation and if you experience any meltdowns, you know where to find me.

  4. Awesome! This has to be fantastic! IG is the best so and you did this up perfectly. Good luck with the dissertation!

  5. What a stunner Michael!!! And so simple too. And well done for making your own pastry. Nice work! Thanks so much for taking part this month! Xx

  6. Beautiful! And you made your own pastry, wow I'm impressed!! I'd love a slice of that tart with a cup of coffee. Or alone, I'm not picky :) Delicious and impressive Michael :)

  7. This looks great and especially since anything with calvados gets my vote. Take a few deep breaths and I feel confident that the dissertation will be fine. (I suppose that me feeling confident is not a lot of use, but good luck anyway).

  8. good work my friend, I'm to lazy to make my own puff pastry

  9. I love this! I love that its so thin - small square slices of heaven. Love the pic of all the cubes of butter. Delicious!

  10. The patience you must have had to cut such perfect circles of apple!! Its looks beautiful, sure it tasted just as good.

  11. Great take on the apple tart!
    Hope your dissertation will finish itself like a breeze. ;)

  12. Good luck with the dissertation! This tart looks gorgeous and I love its simplicity.

  13. That looks so classy.
    Good luck, Michael. Look after yourself - plenty of sleep and eat well.

  14. Gorgeous, simple, delicious? Ok, you have my attention :)
    Good luck with the final days until the dissertation is due!!!

  15. Michael, what a beautiful tart...I love it, specially with this beautiful layers of apples and covered with the sweetness of the apricot jam.
    Hope you have a great week ahead :-)

  16. You made your own puff pastry, that's incredible. Oh man, so much butter, I'm not sure if I can handle that much calories :)

    I love French apple tart. I always order when I pass by my favorite bakery.

  17. That's a gorgeous tart! I'm so impressed you made your own puff pastry! It looks perfect.

  18. What a gorgeous looking French apple tart, Michael. Kudos to you for picking a recipe at random! I wouldn't be that brave.

    I would like to invite you to join in the fun with the 7 Links tag game...Tag, you're it!
    Pleas stop by my blog, to see how it's linked. I would love to see your roundup great posts, and recipes!

  19. Been trying to bake some stuff recently. From pudding to sponge cake. But I guess your baking skill is way way better than me... :)

    Give me your number again in UK, I lost my previous phone. But I would still have my Vodafone number that I called you before. I will email you soon :)

  20. I have a confession to make - I am a cheater! This looks delicious enough to make me behave and make my own pastry though. Would love it served with a scoop of high-quality vanilla ice-cream.

  21. What a wonderful back to basics recipe. Good luck on staying low stress for the upcoming hand in date!!

  22. The apple tart looks great! Good luck on the dissertation! Sure you don't need it.

  23. Hi Dear Michael, so good to be reading blogs again after a little week hiatus in... Barcelona! (poor me).
    Well done for making your own pastry. Did you think it worth the effort? x

  24. I love french apple tarts! Yours looks like it came out perfectly. I think it's been a year or more since I last made one though. You've inspired me to change that, Michael!