Thursday, October 22, 2009

Apple of my Eye

So, last week I mentioned how I had been working on pastry recipes in school. On my birthday, we worked on tarts -- Tarte aux Pommes (Apple Tart), Tarte aux Poires et Frangipane (Pear Tart with Almond Cream), and then Quiche Lorraine and Onion Tart.

One of my favorite foods is an apple - the fact that it was my first word makes this funny! It is no surprise that I love apple tarts (and crisp. And pies). There is a bakery near my hometown that til now won my heart for delicious, not too sweet, but apple-y classic French Apple Tarts. Well, no longer. I can make a meaner tart!!!!

Once this tart won my heart, I knew that this was something I had to play with -- I later made a free form crostata for my friend Amanda's Chili Party.

Without further a do, I present you the recipe for Tarte Aux Pommes, The French Culinary Institute way!

Tart Aux Pommes
1 recipe pate sucree (see below)
Butter for flan ring an bottom

Apple Compote
4 medium-large apples
1/2 lemon
30 ml (2 tbsp) water
50 g (2 oz) granulated sugar

2-3 med-large apples
1/2 lemon
50 g (2 oz) butter, melted

100 g (3.5 oz) apricot glaze (jam)
20 ml (1 tbsp) water

1. Butter flan ring. Roll out dough 1/8" thick. Roll dough onto rolling pin and place on flan ring so that there are 2" dough around ring. Press dough firmly against edge to form border.

2. Press 1/2" overlapping dough over edge of ring. Roll pin over top to remove excess. Pinch border around sides with fingers so that it rises just above ring. Chill shell.

3. Make apple compote -- peel apples and cut in half. Remove cores and rub with lemon to prevent browning. Cut into cubes and put them in small saucepan with water and sugar. Cover with parchment lid and cook over medium heat until mushy/tender, and no color (careful!). Let cool.

4. Prep garnish -- peel garnish apples and cut in half lengthwise and core them. Rub with lemon and slice horizontally VERY thinly (so you have a vertical slice of apple with top and bottom), no more than 1/8" thick.

5. Fill pastry shell with apple compote. Layer apples, moving around the tart counterclockwise, in a tight overlap. Brush with melted butter. Fill center with a rosette.

6. Bake at 425 on bottom rack for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 350 and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until shell is nicely colored and apples are taking on a bit of color. Remove tart ring, place tart back in oven for 10 minutes so sides can take on color, then remove and cool.

7. Combine apricot glaze (jam) with water, bring to simmer, and stir til melted. Brush onto tart.

Pate Sucree a la FCI
200 g flour
100 g butter
30 g granulated sugar
5 g salt
60 ml water or (for a richer dough) 1 whole egg and 10 ml water

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter (diced and VERY cold). Rub until pea sized or blend in food processor. Add water in little bits until dough JUST comes together. Wrap and let rest 1 hr in fridge.

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