I know, I've been neglecting you, and I can't promise it won't happen again. My life right now is a whirlwind of finals and moving boxes and carpet samples and storage spaces and paint strips and graduation portraits.
But there's always time for dessert, right?
Well there was time on my mom's birthday, where the complete failure of the babke was mitigated only by the simple deliciousness of this apple tart. One of the things I love most about tarts - of which I've been on a sort of kick lately - is the complete ease of the dough. After you make it, just press it in to the bottom of the pan - no rolling, no measuring, no ripping holes.
OK so maybe you can kind of see my fingerprints, but that's all going to be covered up with this incredible filling soon. And unbelievably simple too. Starts with sliced up apples, which I hopelessly attempted to arrange in some attractive design.
After failing at that, I simple poured on top the mixture of cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla and baked. Voila.
Much easier than a babke.
Tip of the Day: Freezing the tart dough before baking ensures you don't need to use weights in the pan when baking it empty - known as baking "blind."
Recipe: (from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours)
Alsatian Apple Tart
Note: I used Rich's Whip topping in place of the heavy cream and it worked out fine. You could probably also sub milk/soy milk if you desire (though it might not be as rich).
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tbsps) frozen butter or margarine
1 egg yolk
1 pound apples - about 3 medium apples (I used Golden Delicious)
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
3/4 tsp vanilla
Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.
Scatter pieces of the butter over it and pulse until it is cut in and small pieces of dough form.
Break up the egg yolk and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition.
Pulse until the dough forms clumps and then turn out the dough and knead to combine any dry ingredients that weren't mixed in.
Press the dough into the bottom of a 9 inch tart pan.
Freeze for 30 minutes, and then fit a greased piece of foil against the dough and bake for 25 minutes at 375 F. Let cool.
Peel, core and slice the apples. Lay them in the tart shell in overlapping concentric circles.
Whisk together the cream, sugar, egg, yolk and vanilla, and pour over the apples.
Bake the tart at 375 F for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the custard looks set. Let cool.