Let's begin at the start of these tarts, which was for me, an apple picking adventure to Ayers Orchard in Cana, VA, the closest orchard I could find. Apple picking is THE quintessential fall tradition in my book, and I convinced 2 carloads of friends to drive 2 hours (plus) to humor me in my stubborn adherence to it. After being led on a wild goose chase by the Australian woman in the GPS, we stopped at a country gas station, where we got directions ("up the hill, down the hill, up the hill, and down the hill") to "his mama's house" from whence we were told to take "all lefts except for the right" to the orchard warehouse, where we were drawn a puzzling "map" by the orcardist, we FINALLY found the grove, enjoyed a lovely picnic, and picked a bushel each of Fujis and Arkansas Blacks.
this recipe from Alice Waters/Smitten Kitchen.
It calls for a food processor-mixed pastry, of which I was skeptical, but I had heard a lot of advocates of this practice, so I decided to give it a try.
The dough came together easier than by hand, and the whole tart looked rather nice with its spiraled delicate apple slices, but I just don't think there's any comparison to pastry dough mixed by hand. The butter stays chunkier and melts less, making it so much flakier. It was still a tasty treat, and Neale and James came over to enjoy.
Simple Rustic Apple Tart
Nothing-in-the-House pie crust (at right), using all-purpose flour
2 lbs. apples (we used Arkansas Blacks)
5 Tblsp. sugar: white and turbinado mixture
1/2 c. homemade apple butter
1 Tblsp. lemon juice
1. Make pie crust and once chilled, roll out in 10-in circle. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Core and cut apples into delicate thin slices. Toss apples with lemon juice and 3 Tblsp. sugar.
3. Brush apple butter onto pastry dough and arrange apples on top of the apple butter in concentric spiraling circles. Fold crust over edges. Sprinkle 2 Tblsp. sugar over top of apples and crust.
4. Bake for 35-45 minutes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Enjoy!