Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Apple Tart, Miracle Crust and Mother Nature too

 OK, so it's just another apple tart, you're thinking. Well think again, because this tart dough is nothing short of miraculous. It's made in a jiffy using melted butter - you read that right - no blending rock hard butter, ice water, flour and sugar together as all traditional doughs call for. This tart dough not only is a snap to make, it tastes buttery, flaky and even held up two days later without getting soggy. I owe this marvel to David Lebovitz, who wrote about it on his blog here. I changed the recipe slightly to allow for a larger tart shell, and I melted the butter on top of the stove, rather than in the oven. I may never use another tart recipe again. It's that good and that easy.

Serve it with ice cream for a real treat. Eat it overlooking these almost primordial waterfalls in the Catskills as I did and you'll think you're dreaming. This is the phenomenal view I had for three days last week, when my kids and I gathered to commemorate a very special day.

It was hard to tear ourselves away from the view, enjoyed before dinner on our first evening there with a couple of bottles of wine, some guacamole and salsa. 
We had gorgeous views from all our hikes too, including this one at the top of the mountain, overlooking the Hudson Valley.

We had fun exploring other towns nearby, including Woodstock and Saugerties.

And there were plenty of other waterfalls to discover on our hikes too, including Kaaterskill Falls, the longest one in the Catskills.

Not to mention brilliant fall foliage.
And wonderful food too, including this duck confit at Tamayo's in the town of Saugerties. Thanks kids.
I can't leave out these luscious macarons that my daughter brought to the feast from the new Laduree store in Manhattan. Merci beaucoup.
In the end, the waterfalls outside our door - Niobe Falls - kept luring us back like Ulysses to the sirens. We were just mesmerized all weekend by their beauty and proximity. It was like having a natural sound machine to lull you.
As hard as it was to leave the waterfall house and the wonderful hospitality of its owners, we softened the blow on the way home by stopping at our favorite New York State winery - Prospero Winery. We squeezed some space out of an already crammed car for some wine and prosecco to take home.
Back home - via Manhattan and Jersey City to drop off the kids at their own places - after a memorable weekend. Time to finish off that last slice of apple tart.

Tart Dough Recipe

fits a large tart pan, about 10 1/2 inches in diameter

Printable recipe here

5 ounces unsalted butter, cut into pieces

5 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups flour

Melt butter in a saucepan until bubbly. Add all the rest of the ingredients with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball and comes away from the side of the pan. Add more flour if necessary. Pat into a tart pan and fill with apples or other fruit.


4 or 5 sliced apples,  depending of size - I used Granny Smith
sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon on top
2 T. butter
apricot preserves

Layer apple slices over uncooked dough in tart pan. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and dab with bits of butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on thickness of slices. Remove from oven  and heat apricot preserves until warm enough to spread. Brush a thin layer over the apples.
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  1. The crust in the clincher, so simple and easy to make. Looks like you also enjoyed a memorable time with the family to celebrate!

  2. You live in a beautiful part of the country too, Linda. I love the fall colors, and Kaaterskill Falls!!! gorgeous. You've given high praise to David's tart crust recipe and I'm looking forward to trying it. It sounds like you have a lovely few days with your children.

  3. I was wondering about that beautiful tart! I will try that easy crust recipe!

    and it's about time you opened your own winery! Beautiful pics.

  4. This tart looks incredible. I thought about making it for Thanksgiving, but why wait that long!

  5. che bel posto Linda!la torta di mele è molto invitante...Buona giornata, un bacione....

  6. That tart is beautiful and looks ever so tempting! What a great place to relax.



  7. I'm having girlfriends over for lunch friday, I'm so making that tart! My kind of easy, 1- 2- 3! But I'm sure my apples won't lay as pretty as yours, have any suggestions? What a stunning area Linda and wonderful to share it with your beautiful family!

  8. The heart-shaped rock brought instant tears - but tears of sweetness. Am stoic in sadness and mush with sweetness. I will be doing the tart - especially if the dough is easy! The sound of a waterfall is the most soothing sound I know. All is so lovely - but I am curious - who took the beautiful photo of the three of you?

  9. What a wonderful time! Enjoy the beauty of those colors before they disappear.
    The tart looks delicious. I will have to try that one soon.

  10. Claudia - I brought my flexible tripod with me - gorillapod or something like that it's called - works great wrapped around a tree branch.

  11. The Catskills were the playground of my youth! We would spend a bit of time up there every summer. I loved this post! Easy crust for a tart...I will be trying this recipe...having grown up with my Dad owning a bakery I have never learned to bake, however, I am learning now.

  12. that tart looks divine,I am sure to try that recipe in the very near future.Your pictures are gorgeous(I can almost hear that waterfall)I have always wanted to go to the Catskills,it looks so beautiful,and probably much more so when surrounded by people you love.

  13. What a beautiful area to visit and some rustic to be enjoyed there as well. The patience to decorate the tart with the apples is to be commended.

  14. I love this part of the North East!
    Your kids look just lovely!
    I think I may make this tart tomorrow...it looks beautidul and I have a plethora of apples from the farm waiting for me!

  15. I love making tarts and this crust sounds even easier than the food processor method I've been using --I must try it --thanks, Linda!

    Upstate NY is so pretty this time of the year, and you visited some wonderful places. I'm sure it was good to be together with your kids. That heart shaped rock was definitely a wonderful sign!

  16. I don't know which is prettier, the tart or the photos of your trip. I enjoyed catching up on your posts that I missed while on vacation.

  17. The tart looks wonderful and the crust truly is miraculous. Your photos, however, stole the day. It looks like you had a marvelous getaway. I vicariously enjoyed your trip. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  18. Really! What a simple dough! I must try it! BTW your pics are amazing. What a wonderful time you had with your children!

  19. I'm just now catching up on food blogs. I am so glad you shared this crust. I love making tarts, and you just shared a gem of a shortcut. Bless you!

  20. I LOVE Hudson Valley! My Mom and Pop used to live up in that area, near the CIA (Culinary Institute). Such gorgeous scenery. Would love to go back.

    The tart.....well, that looks amazing. I think even I could handle that, and have everything already here to make it. Would be a nice dessert to serve fireside on this cold day!

  21. I'll have to try that crust. Sounds so easy that even a non-baker like myself could pull it off.

  22. How nice you got to spend some time in our beautiful Hudson Valley, Linda! Did you get to to 'gunks in New Paltz? I must try that tart recipe for sure.