Effortless Baking: French Apple Tart

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When I was in Paris I had this apple dessert, similar to a cheese danish. It was beyond delicious, and I haven’t stopped thinking about since. I couldn’t remember exactly what made it so special, except that it had crème fraîche in it.

So I set out over New Years weekend to make something similar that would bring me back to my time in France.

 

Rustic French Apple Tart

1 package puff pastry

4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick

1/2 cup crème fraîche

Frangipane: 6 ounces Almond Paste, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 stick salted butter

Egg wash: 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Demerara sugar, for sprinkling

Crust:

  • Take one sheet of puff pastry and gentry roll in out to fit a 9×9 french tart pan
  • Cut any remaining pastry off the tops to make an even, flat base for the dessert.

Frangipane:

  • In a food processor, add almond paste and butter. Whip for a few minutes until combined, light and fluffy.
  • Add sugar, and whip for 1 minute.
  • Add egg, and let whip for another minute until combined and smooth.

Apples:

  • Peel, core, and slice apples about 1/2 an inch thick. If you want to do them ahead, toss them in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to keep from oxidizing. If you will make tart right away, you don’t need to do this step. image2

Assembly:

  • Take your tart pan with pastry already laid into it.
  • Spoon frangipane over the dough evenly.
  • On top of the frangipane layer, spoon the crème fraîche. Smooth it evenly over the top not to combine layers.
  • Next, lay the apples into the crème fraîche, evening in rows of three. They should overlap each other just a little.
  • Brush the top with your egg wash lightly, not to put too much or it will pool over the dessert.
  • Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top of the dessert evenly.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes, rotating 2 times.image1(3)

The tart will be done when it is golden brown, the crust has puffed and is cooked all the way through, the apples are soft, and the sugar has caramelized on top.

Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from the tart pan.

Place on a cooling rack another 10 minutes and serve either warm or room temperature.

This tart takes a small amount of time to assemble, but is super impressive to guests, and absolutely delicious. The flavors of rich almond and tart apple go so well together and when the crème fraîche bakes, it becomes a creamy, almost cheese-like layer in this dessert, making something completely unique and memorable.

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I hope you try this dessert out, and more of my recipes available here on Homegrownmeals.com

Bon Appetit!

 

Sean Patrick Gallagher

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Farm Style Apple Pie with Streusel Topping

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Apple pie goodness

Apple pie goodness

Farm Style Apple Pie with Streusel topping 

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Apple Pie Filling

  • 8-12 farm fresh apples, peeled and sliced. I used a mix of sweet and tart apples. Gala, Macoun, Granny Smith, Empire, and Jonagold Gold apples.
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Peel and core apples, slice the apples and place in a bowl with the lemon juice
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the apples, toss to combine.
  • Allow to sit for 30 minutes for flavors combine.

Streusel Topping

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Pulse walnuts, sugars, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor.
  • Add butter, and pulse until a crumbly shaggy mess with crumbles.
  • Keep chilled until place on top of the pie.

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Flaky Pie Crust

  •  1 1/2 sticks very cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon white granulated sugar
  • 3-6 tablespoons ice cold water
  • Dice the butter and keep cold.
  • Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl
  • Add ice cold butter and pulse until the mixture is the size of peas.
  • Pour the ice water in one tablespoon at a time, pulsing, until the dough begins to form a ball.
  • Wrap the dough ball in  plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Once chilled roll a a floured surface until 1/4 inch thick.
  • Cut to fit your pie  dish, and place on the pie dish.
  • Use your fingers to crimp the edges to finish the crust.

Dump the apples into the pie crust, dot with pats of butter, lightly pack the crumb topping on top.

Bake at 350 for an hour, if the topping starts to get too dark, cover with foil and continue to bake.

Cook pie until the apples are soft but still have texture, and the crumb topping is golden brown and delicious.

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