Sometimes I spend 6 hours trying to make caramel. Sometimes I follow recipes that include melting and whisking and separating and beating and boiling. These things generally happen on Sundays. But sometimes, it's a busy Friday afternoon, I have a drawer full of apples, and ten other things to do. This is when you throw together a rustic apple tart. And serve it to oohs and ahs.
Yes there is some waiting time here while you have to freeze the tart dough, and then for the baking, but this is when you get everything else in the kitchen done. See how nicely that works?
One of my favorite baking apples is the Golden Delicious, but you can really go with most apples - and definitely mix it up as well. Sometimes apples with a very red flesh can get a bit discolored - so if appearance is important, go with yellow or green skinned apples.
I wanted the tops of my apples to get a nice brown caramelized touch, so after baking, I broiled it for about a minute (maybe 2) just to get a little color. If you choose to follow my lead - don't leave it alone! You don't want your rustic apple tart to turn in to a pile of rustic apple ashes. It can happen fast.
Tip of the Day: I always store a few sticks of butter or margarine in the freezer - I always use it when a recipe calls for chilled butter - it works great in pie and tart dough.
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) cold or frozen butter or margarine
1 egg yolk
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
2 to 3 apples
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 to 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
Put the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Dice the butter into cubes and scatter over the flour. Process about 10 seconds, until the mixture is fairly uniform and resembled wet sand. Add in the egg yolk and pulse several times. Add in 3 tablespoons water, and pulse until the mixture comes together into a ball. Add another tablespoon water if necessary. Gather the dough together into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for 10 minutes.
Roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle, and press into the bottom of a 10-inch tart pan. Cut away any excess. Freeze the shell for 30 minutes.
Prick the surface of the dough with a fork several times, then fit with a piece of foil and fill with weights or dry beans. Bake on 425 F for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove the crust from oven and turn down to 375 F.
Peel, core and slice the apples into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange the slices in the tart shell. Dice the butter into pieces and sprinkle on top of the apples, then sprinkle the sugar on top, and top with a dusting of cinnamon.
Bake on 375 F for about 40 minutes. If you want extra browning - pop under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes - no more!