About a week or so ago, the hubster and I drove up to Northern Utah to visit my mother in law. She sent us home with a huge bag of apples (unsure of the specific varietal), that I fresh picked off the tree. With so many apples, it seemed so one-note to only turn them into apple sauce, so I thought it called perfectly for an apple and frangipane tart.
As a cooking note, it is really important that you refrigerate your tart after each step. In order to achieve the flaky pastry effect, your bits of butter must be very cold at the time of baking. The steam from the butter will create the layers of flakiness, and it just won’t do that if your pastry dough is warm.
Here is my recipe:
1. Start with your Pâte Brisée:
I used my Cuisinart food processor to make this, but you can just as easily make this by hand.
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoons salt
10 tablespoons of very cold butter to your bowl
Process for about 5 seconds.
Add to this
1/3 cup of ice cold water.
Process just until the dough comes together and stop immediately. Your butter bits should be visible.
Form this into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge.
2. Make your frangipane:
Grind to a coarse mix:
3/4 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup sugar
Add to this
A splash of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of melted butter
Mix until combined well.
2.5 Interim steps:
Remove your dough from the fridge, and roll it into about a 14″ round. Carefully transfer your dough to your tart pan, and gently press the dough into the edges of the pan. Gently remove any excess dough. Spread your frangipane over the bottom of the tart. Refrigerate again, while you cut your apples. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees at this point.
3. Peel, core, and cut your apples:
I peeled, cored, and cut 4 apples, but didn’t use all of the slices. Once your apples are peeled, cut your apple in half vertically, from the stem. I used a melon baller to easily core the apples. Then, lay your apple, cut side down, and vertically slice your apple into about 1/4″ slices. Set aside.
Remove your tart shell from the fridge, assemble the apple slices. As you can see, I did concentric circles that reversed at each new circle. Sprinkle over this 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake for one hour. Your tart should be light brown, and your apples should be cooked, and have caramelized from the sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature.
5. Finishing Steps:
Once your tart is cooled. Sieve about 1/4 cup of apricot preserves, and mix into this about 1 tablespoon of rum or calvados if desired. Using a pastry brush, gently paint the apples with the preserves. Serve.