by Dorie Greenspan
Contributing Baker: Leslie Mackie
The filling is a simple compote (aka applesauce) made of apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and to thicken the compote, a bit of flour and breadcrumbs. Yes, you read that right - breadcrumbs. I never before have used breadcrumbs as a thickening agent. We learn something new everyday.
I was going to skip the addition of the crumbs, for the recipe calls for "fresh fluffy bread crumbs" which I interpret to be made from white bread, and all I have is whole-grain seeded bread and was not about to buy a whole loaf of white for one slice. I then heard that the crumbs help soak up the juice of the baked apples and decided to go ahead with using my whole-grain bread (don't want a soupy tart now) after reading another baker from our group used her homemade half-white/half-wheat bread and it turned out fine, as did mine.
Should I make this again I would brush the finished tart with some apricot glaze to give it a little shine. The apple design has a dehydrated, unrefined look to it which I think is why I keep calling it a rustic apple tart instead of French apple tart.
Leslie (the contributing baker) states, "This tart is at its prime ever so slightly warm or at room temperature." I find this true with just about any baked good. I enjoyed my slice at room temperature and it was good. I was going to send the rest into work but forgot to tell the hubby to take it, and then I forgot to take it in with me. Darn. Now I have to eat it.
The following day I had myself another slice (or was it two?) and had a few bites cold and then the remainder went into the microwave for about ten seconds just to warm it ever so slightly. Personally - I think it tastes better the following day and the next.
I have about a third of the pie left so I thought I would toss it into the freezer and see what happens. Wouldn't it be fabulous if this could be made ahead and frozen! You can buy completed pies and cakes in the freezer section of the grocery store, so why would it not work at home?
Success meter (1-3): 3
(Edit: I forgot to mention that after baking for the alloted time the tart was not browning, so I placed it under the broiler till the edges of the apples were nicely colored.)
Note: My apologies for the poor quality of some of the photos. By the time the tart was baked it was getting dark. Some shots where taken in the kitchen and others in the back room; hence the color differences.
|Fold your dough into quarters (fold in half, then in half again) for easy transfer to your tart pan or pie plate.|
|You don't have to buy pie weights - you can use beans or rice.|
|A melon baller makes coring apples a snap.|
|The filling consists of apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, bread crumbs and lemon juice.|
|Mash the apples to your desired consistency.|
|I floated the apples for the topping in lemon water as I sliced them to keep them from turning brown. |
Pat dry before slicing.
|This is a great recipe to pull that mandoline out of storage.|
|After filling the tart shell arrange your apple slices in a circle atop the purée.|
|To form a rosette you need to cut your apple slices paper thin in order for them to bend slightly.|
|Brush the finished tart with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.|
|At the last minute I thought a sprinkle of cinnamon would be pretty...|
Should you want to make this fun and tasty recipe, you will find the original recipe on the blog of our host of the week: Gaye of Laws of the Kitchen or you can purchase the book Baking with Julia, there you will find the recipe on page 379.
Do make sure and check out my fellow baker's take on this recipe. There are always interesting variations from ingredients to finishing techniques.