And with all of that said, I’m starting to also get the baking itch. It is yet again time to start compiling the “need to make” cookie list with my sister (though we barely put a dent in last year’s), stocking up on butter like it’s a rare commodity, and coming up with any excuse to make the house smell like cinnamon. And because I conveniently had a bag full of apples after a trip to the pumpkin patch last weekend it all began with an apple tart (again).
Yes, this one is extremely similar to the one from 3 years ago, albeit in a cooler looking pan, but that’s ok. A classic apple tart is one thing that certainly bears repeating. The dough comes together incredibly easily in the food processor and is filled with nothing but a whole lot of sliced apples. It gets a nice coating of sugar and butter before going into the oven, causing the tops of the apples to caramelize, and the whole thing is glazed with a layer of apricot jam after coming out of the oven. For the record, the dough recipe makes enough for two tarts, which means you can make one now and freeze the rest of the dough to make another on Thanksgiving. Can’t beat that! Note: You can use whatever tart pan you may have, it doesn’t have to be rectangular one like the one pictured.
Adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa
For the Pastry
2 cups flour
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbs. sugar
12 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, diced
½ cup ice water
For the Tart
4-5 crisp/tart apples
¼ cup sugar
3 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, diced
¼ cup apricot jam
For the pastry, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add in the butter and pulse until about 10-15 times until the butter is well distributed and the size of small peas. With the machine running, slowly pour in the water until the dough just comes together. Dump onto a floured surface and knead into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the apples and cut them in half down the center. Use a melon baller and a knife to remove the core. Place each half cut side down and use a small sharp paring knife to cut the apples into thin slices.
Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and divide in half. Save the remaining half of the dough for a later use, freezing if needed. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until abut an inch bigger than the tart pan on all sides. Place into the pan and trim off the extra overhanging dough. Arrange the apples in the pan, flat side down so that they all fit snuggly inside. Sprinkle the sugar overtop and scatter the diced butter over the apples as well. Add a dusting of cinnamon on top as well. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are caramelized. Right after taking the tart out of the oven, warm the apricot jam in a small saucepan and use a pastry brush to glaze the top of the tart. Allow to cool for an hour before serving. Delicious with vanilla ice cream!