Buring up the Kitchen with French Apple Tarts
French apple tart – ooo la la
Every great recipe needs a great story and this French Apple Tart Recipe fulfills both requirements. A couple of years ago a friend brought us a basket of apples from the North Georgia Mountains. After eating fresh apples, apple pie, apple sauce in the crock pot and a few other items I was desperate for a way to finish off our bounty. Here’s what I found.
The original recipe is from Ina Garten. You can still find her recipe on-line but I’ve made a few changes along the way. First the story. This really is a great recipe so I was making a tart a day and handing out to friends and co-workers. You’ll note there’s really a lot of butter in the recipe and apparently when cooking with lots of butter one should use a cookie sheet with sides; I did not. By the 4th or 5th tart as I was about to leave the kitchen I heard a sound I had never heard before BUT I knew what it was. Have you ever had an oven fire?
If I remember correctly here’s what happened next: Screamed for husband, opened door and tried to remove tart (yes you read correctly I tried to save the food before the kitchen) Didn’t succeed with removing tart, ½ slide off the cookie sheet into the oven which meant more butter, more flames. Threw baking soda into the mess. Let oven cool, surveyed the damage and then, did I mention this was a great recipe, then after the oven cooled I cleaned up the mess and baked another tart…on a different pan…with sides.
Here’s my version of a French Apple Tart
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ sticks cold butter, diced
½ cup ice water
I love making dough in the food processor, talk about easy. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the food processor (with steel blade). Pulse a few seconds to blend. Add the butter and pulse 10 – 12 times until the butter is the size of peas. With the processor running pour the ice water down the feed tube until the dough starts to come together. Dump on floured board and knead into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Roll the dough slightly larger than a 10 x 14 inch plan Trim to size and then place the dough on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Put back in the refrigerator while you prepare the apples.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
4 apples – Ina’s recipe calls for Granny Smith but my original apples were plain old red ones
½ cup sugar
½ stick cold butter, small diced
½ cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons Orange Liqueur (rum or water acceptable)
Peel and core the apples, slice into ¼ inch slices. Start in the middle of the dough and layer the apples, overlapping diagonally across the pan.
Add rows to each side to fill the pan. Sprinkle with the ½ cup of sugar and dot with the butter.
Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is brown and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. When the tart is done, heat the marmalade with the liqueur and pour over the apples. Be sure to loosen the tart so it doesn’t stick to the parchment paper. Let cool, I know it’s hard to wait but you’ll get a nasty burn if you try to eat this too soon (believe me I know).
Enjoy the recipe and the story.