I was really pleased with this delicious apple tart! (Recall: source recipe)
This tart was as easy to make as a normal pie, but I thought the impact factor was higher because it was so dang pretty! I’ve never accordion-sliced apples like this for a baked good, but it was easy enough to do (it took some getting used to, but I managed fine). I had intended to make this a gallette, but my pie crust dough just didn’t want to cooperate (more on this in a second), so I ultimately put my tart pan to use.
I started with a WHOLE LOTTA butter.
The Pate Brisee that Smitten Kitchen recommended was fairly fussless – well, I thought it was fussless. Maybe that’s why it came out crumbly. Anyway, butter met flour/sugar/salt. I (finally) got my act together and bought a pastry cutter!! It’s been on my kitchen-item-wish list for about two years now (not an exaggeration), and I don’t know why it took me so long. The major takeaway lesson from this whole pie experience, actually, was this: cutting shortening into flour with a pastry cutter is about 40 times easier than cutting it into flour with two knives (if you have to ask, you don’t want to know).
After cutting it all together, the icy water got dribbled and mixed in. Then, into the refrigerator it went! I let it chill for about 40 minutes. It was seriously as hard as a rock when it came out of the fridge, so I did need to let it warm for maybe 5 minutes before I could roll it out.
Towards the end of the dough-chilling, I preheated my oven to 400 and started cutting/peeling apples. Now, it was fairly late at night when I was doing this (11ish? That’s f’n late on a Tuesday.) and I had a ton of physiology homework to do, so I made the executive decision to skip the save-the-skins-and-then-make-a-syrup-out-of-them step. Sorry, universe. But I did peel my beautiful Granny Smiths:
After I peeled each one, I left it whole (at first) and rolled it around/let it rest in a mixing bowl with the juice of a few lemons in it. No oxidation here! Once I had them peeled, I halved them and cored them with my melon baller, returning them to the lemon juice bath.
At this point, I rolled out my dough – it was fairly crumbly and I honestly found this pate brisee recipe harder to work with than other recipes I’ve used in the past. I don’t know why. It was really humid that night, so maybe it was an atmospheric or altitude problem – I don’t know. Anyway, I decided I was going to use my tart pan instead of doing a galette. I am bummed, because galettes have been on my list to do for AGES. Sometime soon, I promise. Maybe in an upcoming challenge…
Once my dough was rolled and in the pan, I started hasselbacking my apples. I hasselback potatoes sometimes, so I figured this would be similar – but I neglected to remember that when I hasselback potatoes I don’t cut 100% of the way through the potato (you leave them slightly connected at the bottom). I had a few problems with the apple slices sliding out of place, but I got the hang of it. (Unfortunately, I got the hang of it on the last half-apple). I would like to take a knife skills class sometime to get better at this stuff.
I arranged the apples in my crust and folded the edges over.
Then, it got a bath in melted butter, and I sprinkled sugar over it (probably about 1/8 of a cup or so). Also cinnamon. Smitten Kitchen didn’t say anything about cinnamon, but it’s just not apple pie without cinnamon.
Then into the oven it went. I put it on a lipped baking sheet because I was pretty sure it would bubble over – it did. I later patted myself on the back for that.
30 minutes into baking, I rotated the pan, and then it was ready to come out 20 minutes after that.
This thing was really delicious and simple, and I was pleased with the presentation (that made it look like I put way more work into it than I did…I’ll be remembering this technique). My crust tasted amazing but was more crumbly than flaky – I think it got overworked when I was trying to roll it out to be a gallette. Oh, well! I suffered through it well enough.