Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Tart

For Christmas this year, my brother, mom, dad and I spent the day opening presents, listening to music, lounging about the house, and making food together. One of my presents was Michel Roux's Pastry (which I previously drooled over at Rabelais in Portland, ME). I wanted to try something from the book, and my dad had brought home a bushel of Arkansas Black apples, so I settled on the classic Apple Tart. It seems that this was the year for them. I followed the recipe in its entirety, using Michel's tart crust recipe. It is as follows:

Tart Pie Dough
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 stick butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened
1 medium egg
1 tsp. superfine sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 Tblsp. cold water

Heap the flour in the bowl and make a well. Put the butter, egg, sugar and salt in the middle. With your fingertips, mix and cream ingredients in the well. Draw flour into center and work dough to a grainy texture. Add cold water and mix until dough holds together. Push dough away from you 4-5 times until it is smooth. Roll dough in ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Apple Tart
Tart Pie Dough
6 dessert apples (I used Arkansas Black)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (we didn't have any, so I used extract)
4 1/2 Tblsp. butter
scant 1/2 c. superfine sugar

Roll out dough in circle and use to line a buttered and floured tart pan. Pinch up edges with index finger to make a fluted edge higher than the dish. Chill for at least 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel, core and halve apples. Cut into very fine slices. Put 1/3 of apples in a pan and add 1/4 c. water, vanilla and butter and cook until tender. Take off heat, discard vanilla bean and work the apples with a whisk to compote consistency. Let cool. For glaze, in small pan, dissolve sugar in 2 1/2 Tbslp. water. Bring to boil and bubble for 4-5 minutes to make a syrup. Let cool. Prick base of pastry shell lightly. Pour in cold apple compote and spread. Arrange a border of overlapping apple slices around tart, then arrange another circle inside with slices facing the other way. Fill center with a small rosette of slices. Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before removing tart pan. Brush top with glaze. Cut and enjoy!

I liked this recipe, but I am of the opinion that butter in pie dough should be as COLD as possible during preparation to facilitate supreme flakiness. But for a traditional tart crust, this was easy and tasted good. We topped it off with brandy and Indiana maple syrup-spiked whipped cream, then entered the TEZ...Mom in the TEZGrant in the TEZ.

Look for more Michel Roux recipes in 2010 as I delve into my lovely Christmas present!


Mandy F said...

Aw, yum! And isn't it just lovely when our loved ones know us so well! Merry Christmas to the Potholes!

heather said...

Looks Delish! Can't wait for more reviews!

Cranberry Chess Pie

Fig Pistachio Tarte Tatin

Peppermint Pattie Tart

Whiskey & Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake

Blog Archive