Monday, December 2, 2013

Ina Garten's French Apple Tart

Ina Garten, aka "The Barefoot Contessa" consistently writes cookbooks that contain delicious recipes that are also fail proof and easy to prepare. This French apple tart is no exception. It's always a crowd pleaser with its buttery, flaky crust and thinly sliced apples smeared with a glaze of jelly. The recipe calls for apricot jelly, but my new favorite to brush on fruit tarts is quince jelly, since its pale color doesn't obscure the fruit that's below. Besides, I love the tart/sweet flavor of quince jelly.

After mixing the pastry, roll it out and cut it to the size of your cookie sheet.

Place the pastry into a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or a Silpat), carefully arrange the apple slices and dot with butter (stop counting calories and just enjoy this one, alright?)

When it comes out of the oven, brush some warmed quince jelly on top (or some other light colored jelly - I like orange marmalade here too.) Cut into squares and serve. A scoop of ice cream on top would not be unwelcome. Warning - This tart is highly addictive. Ciao Chow Linda shall not be held responsible if you eat the whole thing.

If you haven't got company coming, and you're not so good at portion control, (I wonder who that could be?) freeze most of the dough and make a couple of single serving size tarts instead, assuming you've got little tart pans. But even if you haven't, you can even make them freeform. Follow the same directions, and use the same temperature. This way you might still be able to squeeze into your jeans.

Ina Garten's French Apple Tart

printable recipe here


For the pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar

12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced

1/2 cup ice water

For the apples:

4 Granny Smith apples

1/2 cup sugar

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced

1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam

2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water


the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food
processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to
combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in
small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water
down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come
together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap
in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

the dough slightly larger than 10 by 14-inches. Using a ruler and a
small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan
and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.

Peel the apples and
cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a
sharp knife and a melon baler. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch
thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the
middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of
the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not
to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.)
Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter.

for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of
the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the
pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the
air out. Don't worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart
will be fine! When the tart's done, heat the apricot jelly together
with the Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with
the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn't
stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

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