Food Monday ~ French Apple Tart

This tasty tart, looks rather elegant with a double layer of apples, finished with a glaze of apricot preserves to give a sheen and keep the apples wonderfully moist.

French Apple Tart

Sweet Pastry Crust:
195g plain/all purpose flour
50g granulated white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
115 g unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the Apple Filling:
6 medium-sized Bramley apples 900g
40g unsalted butter, divided
50 – 100g granulated white sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
Confectioners’ Sugar for browning the top of the tart.

For the Glaze:
120 ml apricot preserves
1 tablespoon Water*

To Serve: Vanilla ice cream, softly whipped cream or Crème fraîche.

Place the butter in your mixer and beat until softened. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg, beating just until incorporated. Don’t over mix. Add flour and salt and mix just until it forms a ball. Flatten dough, cover and refrigerate for about one hour or until firm.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a 28 – 30 cm circle and use to line an 20 – 23 cm tart pan with removable base. Prick bottom of dough with a fork. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Line the unbaked pastry shell with parchment paper and cover with pie weights.  Bake crust for 20 to 25 minutes until crust is dry and lightly browned. Remove weights and cool crust on wire rack.

For Apple Tart:
Peel, core, and slice three of the apples. In a large pan melt 15g unsalted butter and stir in 25 – 50g of the sugar, the lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Add the apples and sauté over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the apples are soft. Gently mash the apples with the back of a spatula or spoon and stir the mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool.

For top layer:  Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/2 cm slices.
Melt 15g butter in a large skillet over medium heat and stir in the remaining 25 – 50g sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Add the apple slices and sauté until they begin to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Set the cooked apples aside.

Spoon the apple sauce mixture into the cooled pre-baked tart shell. Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles over the apple sauce, and brush with 15-25g melted butter. Bake the tart on a baking sheet at 175°C for 25-30 minutes or until the apples are nicely browned and soft.  Remove from oven and sprinkle the tart with confectioners’ sugar, cover the edges of tart with foil, and broil it under a preheated grill about 4 inches from the heat until the edges of the apples are golden brown and crisp. Once the tart has cooled lightly glaze the apple slices with warm apricot glaze.
Apricot Glaze: In a small saucepan heat the apricot preserves until boiling. Remove from heat and strain to get rid of lumps and add the water.  Use this glaze to seal the baked tart shell and to brush the top of the finished tart.

Serve the tart warm or at room temperature with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

*Cognac or Calvados may be used instead of water for a special occasion

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