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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Strawberry-Rhubarb Oat Tartlets

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Strawberry Rhubarb Oat Tartlet with Whipped Cream and Oat crumbles

Strawberry Rhubarb Oat Tartlet with Whipped Cream and Oat crumbles

 

We always bought these strawberry-rhubarb pies from a local farm when I was growing up. I remember the beautiful balance of sweet and sour. In Connecticut as a kid, my neighbor grew rhubarb and I would pick it with her and make strawberry-rhubarb jellies.

Right now is primetime for rhubarb, and when I saw it at the Amish market I had to grab some up. It is truly versatile. You can add it to savory dishes to add a sour element or balance the sweetness is dessert applications. I made a delish strawberry rhubarb filling to put inside some tart shells. You could use the same filling on waffles, french toast, biscuits, ice cream, pudding, or yogurt.

Here’s what I made and  how I did it.

Strawberry Rhubarb Oat Tartlets

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Tart shells before being baked off

Tart shells before being baked off

Oat crust –

8 tartlets

3/4 cup quick cooking oats

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 t cinnamon

1/8 t ground ginger

pinch salt

1 stick butter, softened

1 T water

  • Pulse the oats in a food processor until fine meal.
  • Add in your flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Pulse to combine.
  • Add in your softened butter, and pulse to combine.
  • Add in 1 T water to make it form into a loose dough.
  • Press the dough down hard into tart shells, making a thin firm shell.
  • Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. When the shells come out, press them down while still hot with a towel. Let them cool, then take them out of the molds. Should be crisp and golden brown.
  • Take excess oat crust dough and crumble it on a silpat, bake off until golden brown and save for garnish.

Filling

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

1 2 inch piece orange peel

1 pint strawberries, quartered

1 cup small dice rhubarb

1 vanilla bean, scraped

2 T orange juice

1 cinnamon stick

1 t cornstarch, dissolved in the orange juice

1 T fresh lemon juice

  • Add your sugar and water to a pot, bring to a boil to make a simple syrup.
  • Add your orange peel, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean. Cook for 2-3 minutes to start flavor base.
  • Add your rhubarb and cook until soft. Add your strawberries and cook on low until fruit is soft.
  • Mix your orange juice with the cornstarch. Make sure there are no lumps with your fingers.
  • Bring mix up to a bubble, add in your cornstarch slurry, whisk to combine.
  • Cook on low for 5 minutes to cook out cornstarch, stirring constantly to not scorch.
  • Finish with a T fresh lemon juice to balance flavor. ( I think it makes the dish!)
  • At this point remove the orange peel, vanilla bean, and cinnamon stick. When I cut the peel off the orange, I didn’t get any white pith (which is bitter) so when I removed the peel and saw it was very soft and edible, I finely minced it and added it into the filling. It gave a very pleasant flavor.
  • Move to a shallow dish to cool in the fridge. Will be served chilled.

Whipped Cream

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 T confectionary sugar

1/8 t vanilla extract

  • Whip cream on medium until peaks start to form, add sugar and vanilla, whip on high until firm but not over whipped into butter. Should only take a few minutes.
Easy plated dessert to make at home

Easy plated dessert to make at home

Plating – Take an oat tart and fill it with 2 T of strawberry-rhubarb filling, top with a tablespoon of whipped cream, garnish the top with oat crumbles.

 

 

This dessert is honestly one of the best things i’ve ever made. I highly recommend trying to make them, you can make all different sizes depending on your molds. I made little 3 in tarts in molds. They would be great as a plated dessert, on a brunch buffet, or dessert bar, or just make them for a romantic dinner at home for two.

 

Enjoy!

Delish

Delish

Cheers

 

Sean Patrick Gallagher