Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rustic Apple Tart

If I use a word like "rustic" in the title when I name something, it totally gives it the MS [Martha Stewart] factor. It sounds homey, homemade, fresh, simple, and clean. It makes you want to make it. Trust me. If I would have called it Apple Tart, it wouldn't have the same appeal. It's the same reason they give paint colors fancy names. Instead of "brown", which sounds unappealling and blah, they name it "Rich chocolately mocha" and suddenly you can't figure out why every room in your house is painted brown.

I don't make the rules, I just live by them.

In all seriousness, this just screams fall! I absolutely LOVE apples. In fact, so much so, that in the past 2 weeks, I've bought 4 different kinds of apples, and I'd guess that we had over 10-15 lbs. of apples in our house! No worries on wasting, however. The kiddos love them [as do Chris & I], and I LOVE to bake with them. And if all else fails, I can make easy applesauce or apple butter.

I may or may not have tried to make Mason [my oldest] bite really hard into his apple, in hopes that his front tooth would get stuck in the apple. I really think that's an old wives tale. [Are there old wives tale about teeth?] If his tooth doesn't fall out soon, I might just go crazy. He looks like hillbilly, and it's a wee bit creepy when his tooth is pointing right at you when you try to talk to him. He won't let us pull it. [Trust me, we've tried everything! And, we may or may not have pinned him down and told him, "this won't hurt!" while he screamed and thrashed like a 4 year old girl. I'm not above that.] Instead, I end up slicing his apples for him, and secretly cursing his tooth.

But I digress. I made this to take to my inlaws house for dinner on Sunday. It was a big hit, and seriously awesome served warm with vanilla ice cream. I'm not a sucker for sweets, but it was so good!

The crust on this isn't the same as I use for pie dough. I don't make it quite as flaking [no shortening, butter only], but it's still pretty close. It's a touch sweeter than traditional pie crust as well. [I'll be posting my pie crust recipe in the coming weeks/months. I can't wait to start making pies!!] Thank you again ATK!!

Rustic Apple Tart

  • 1 1/4 cups [6.25 ounces] unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 10 T. butter [real butter!], cut into 1/4 inch pieces and chilled
  • 3-4 T. ice water
  1. Pulse flour, salt and sugar in food processor to combine. Add [cold] butter, scattering it around the flour; cut it into flour until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs. At this point the butter pieces will be mixed in, but you don't want any pieces bigger than small peas.

  2. Pour mixture into a medium sized mixing bowl. Sprinkle 3-4 Tablespoons of ice cold water [I fill a big measuring cup with ice cubes and water, and then dip my Tablespoon into fill it.] With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with the broad side of the spatula until dough sticks together. If it won't come together, add 1-2 T more of ice water. [I never need more than 4 total!]

  3. Press together with hands a bit. [Don't knead!] Don't overwork, because we don't want the butter to melt or soften---cold butter makes the best dough!

  4. Flatten dough into a single disk; wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before rolling.
  • 1 1/4 lbs Granny Smith apples [about 2 medium or 3 small]
  • 1 1/4 lbs Gala or McIntosh apples [about 2 medium or 3 small]
  • 2 T. juice [about 1/2 of 1 lemon]
  • 1/4 c. sugar [1.75 ounces]
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 large egg whites, beaten lightly
  • 2 T. sugar

  1. Remove dough from fridge and let sit at room temperature until it is malleable. [If it was only in the fridge for an hour, you don't need to do this.]

  2. Roll dough between 2 sheets of lightly floured parchment paper. Roll into a 15 inch disk. Slide dough onto a cookie sheet; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while working on the apples.

  3. Peel, core and cut apples into 1/4" thick slices and toss with lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.

  4. Remove dough from refrigerator and arrange apple slices, thick edges out, in a circular mound, leaving about 3 inches for the border. If there are any juices left in the bowl of apples, pour it over the top of the fruit.

  5. Fold dough border up and over filling, pleating dough to fit snugly around apples. With cupped hands, gently press dough toward filling, reinforcing shape and compacting apples. Chill formed tart on pan for 30 minutes.

  6. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, until pale golden brown. Remove from oven and brush the crust with beaten egg whites and sprinkle apples with remaining 2 T. sugar. [I usually only need about 1 T sugar here.]

  7. Return pan to oven and bake until crust is deep golden brown and apples are tender, about 25 minutes more.

  8. Remove pan from oven and cool tart on pan for 10 minutes. Serve tart warm.

There are a lot of "refrigerate" steps---this is to ensure that the butter in the dough stays cold. This is important to getting a nice tasty, flaky crust.

Also, flour and sugar measurements are shown in measurements and weight. If you have a kitchen scale, it's best to weigh it when making crusts, etc. If not, don't worry about it!


  1. This Rustic Apple Tart really does sound good with ice cream...thanks

  2. It looks so pretty. I'm sure it tastes great too. I love apples.

  3. Oh Yummy, this looks so good Anna! What a perfect way to use up the fall apples. :-)

  4. dang. i want to make this! :) looks so good!

  5. Made this last night for Sam's birthday. He loves apple pie. This was a huge hit! Thanks for the amazing, easy to follow recipes. Keep 'em coming!!!

  6. Yay Bri! I'm glad you guys liked it! I'm trying to think of an excuse to make it again.