Tuesday, January 22, 2013

TWD: French Apple Tart

Tuesdays with Dorie baking through Baking with Julia
by Dorie Greenspan
Contributing Baker: Leslie Mackie





This is a stunning dessert that is easier than it looks to achieve - you just need to allocate a full day to make it or you can get a head start by making the tart dough up to five days ahead, and I don't see any reason why you could not make the filling the day before - cover and refrigerate it. I would bring the filling to room temperature before placing it in the crust.

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.

32 comments:

  1. This is stunning, and I love the chunky applesauce! Great pics

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  2. Your tart looks perfect! Love your idea of floating the apples in lemon water, and I'm wondering why I didn't use my mandolin to slice my apples. I did make the filling the day ahead and brought it to room temp before filling that tart, and that worked great.

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    1. I also made the filling a day ahead without problem. I did let it get to room temp as well!

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  3. Now THAT is a tart. Fabulous job. The only tart I've seen so far with the rose in the middle. Way to go...

    Carmen

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  4. LOVE your rose center! Such a beautiful tart!

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  5. WOW!!! Fantastic pics! Truly, I loved them all. And your tart is so beautiful. Great job! Love the rosette in the middle.
    It really was a simple recipe to make. I was so concerned because it looked so fancy!

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  6. Like everytime, I love your post, your pictures!!! Your tart looks amazing!! Really yummy!!!

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  7. An amazingly beautiful tart! It's breathtaking!

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  8. Ohhh, your rosette is gorgeous!! Just lovely. :)

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  9. Gorgeous tart! And great pictures of all stages of the process.. Cutting the slices with mandolin is a great idea..

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  10. That rosette is the perfect touch to your beautiful tart.

    Gorgeous!

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  11. Love how beautiful your rosette came out! An absolutely gorgeous tart!

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  12. Your rosette is indeed gorgeous, as are all of your photos! Wish I'd thought to drag out my mandolin... great idea!

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  13. I think I have crimp envy. And yes, the mandolin has it's place. Check out my post -- I wrote about it.

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  14. Your rosette is beautiful! Your entire tart is beautiful! I always love looking at your photos, they are gorgeous.
    Carlene

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  15. Cathleen, you certainly made the prettiest and most professional looking French Apple Tart that I have seen in a very long time! The apple slices are arranged absolutely perfectly, the photography is amazing and I am totally impressed! So very well done - what a fantastic presentation! Good to know that this Tart keeps well, I was planning on bringing one as a hostess gift and was not sure how it would hold up a day after baking. Thansk for letting us know!
    Have a great Wednesday!

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  16. Your tart is just perfect! I am in love with the little rose in the middle.

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  17. Absolutely stunning! I love the rose in the middle. I wish my pie looked as beautiful as yours.

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  18. Beautiful! I love the rosette in the middle! Let us know if the freezing thing works.

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  19. Your rosette is beautiful!!! The folding the pie crust is a great idea. I wish I had seen it before I made mine. I will remember it for the next pie. Great pictures.

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  20. I love your rosette in the middle. Your photos are just beautiful! The lemon water trick is great.

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  21. Wow. that is quite the tart! Mine went to school in my son's lunch for 3 days in a row. I am lucky when he likes the TWD baking and this one was a hit!

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  22. Beautiful tart! I especially like your apple photos. I didn't think about using the mandoline for slicing the apples, but it looks like it worked really well.

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  23. You are a master at apple decorations on a tart. Beautiful!

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  24. That is a gorgeous flower in the center!

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  25. Your tart is gorgeous! I love the rosette you created. Let us know how it turns out after being in the freezer. I agree that it even tasted better the following day with just 20 seconds in the microwave to heat it up.

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  26. I love all of your photos. Your tart is perfection!

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  27. Your tart is beautiful! Great idea to float your apple slices in lemon water to keep them from turning color.

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  28. It's a work of art! So perfect! The crimp, the rosette, the cinnamon sprinkles, everything. Thanks for the tip on how to transfer the pie dough to the pan - I always struggle with that...

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  29. Your tart looks beautiful and delicious! Love the rosette in the middle!

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  30. I'll keep repeating what everyone else is saying- your rosette and tart look simply amazing!

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  31. Your tart came out perfectly! Wow!! You did a beautiful job.

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