Sunday, February 7, 2010

Alina's Apple Tart

I love apple pie.  Apple pie ala mode and I am in heaven!  Unfortunately, apple pie is frequently chock full of sugar and butter to make that warm oozy filling we all so much love with a dollop of icecream.  Inspired by my new tart pan (with removal bottom, highly recommend investing in this, I got mine for $7.99 at Marshalls. They always have great baking pans if you don't mind mismatched.  While I swear by my Martha Stewart muffin, mini muffin, brownie and loaf pans I received from my great friends Lena and Sarah (check out her foodie blog here at my bridal shower, my tart pan and cookie sheet from Marshalls were great buys!

 
So, as the title obviously reveals, my shiny new tart pan inspired me to make an apple tart.  Its light and simply delicious; not heavy like many traditional American desserts.  If you are looking for the original recipe, you can find it at Smitten Kitchen

 
Recipe Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

INGREIDENTS:
Dough:
  • 1.5 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • 1 stick margarine or butter, just softened, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 tablespoons chilled water

 Filling:
  • 2 pounds apples, cored, peeled and sliced (keep peels); I used a combination of Gala and Red Delicious
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

 Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • reserved peals from apples

 
DIRECTIONS:
 For dough:  Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl; slowly add in butter.  The mixture should be crumbly.  Add water, 1 tbsp at a time until it just holds together.  You do not want the dough to be too dry to work with nor too sticky.  Form dough into ball and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.  When ready to bake, roll out into rough circle, to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thickness- Approximately 16 inches for a 10 inch tart.  TIP:  I do all of my dough rolling between 2 pieces of seran wrap.  Wax paper also works-- I do not usually flour the surface.  With dough between 2 pieces of seran/paper, roll into circle. When desired size is reached, peal off top piece of seran/paper and then flip dough with seran/paper, upside down onto pan.  Gently remove seran/wax paper.  Lightly spray pan with cooking spray and press dough into pan and up sides, leaving extra dough hanging over the sides to be folded over the apples later.

 
Preheat oven to 400.  While oven heats, place apples into tart.  For great how to photos, go to Smitten Kitchen.  Fold overhanging dough over the apples, crimping edges every few inches.

 
Brush melted butter over tart (optional) and sprinkle with about 3 tablespoons sugar over dough edge and apples.
BAKE for 35-45 minutes, look for tart to gently brown and then remove.

 
While tart is baking, place peels in saucepan with sugar.  Cover in just enough water to cover (approximately 1 cup) If you use a SMALL saucepan, you may need to use more water to cover the apples and will require extra sugar--- you can't really screw this step up, so make the simple syrup to taste.  Simmer for about 25 minutes.  Because I used RED apples I got a gorgeous colored syrup that looked great on the tart!  When the tart is out of the oven, brush tart and apples with the simple syrup.  I drizzled individual slices with some extra syrup on the first day we ate it and it was delicious.

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