French Apple Tart

Should I? or Shouldn’t I ?was the question I kept asking myself. We are trying to eat a bit healthier and desserts around the house are way too tempting. But, visitors mean more mouths to consume said dessert. I was on the fence for quite sometime and at the last minute, in my flurry to make a delicious lunch which included the delicious Peruvian meal of Aji de Gallina, I chose to dive in and make the French Apple Tart. It seemed like a fruity dessert that could be light instead of heavy after a good meal.

Luckily, others thought the same thing! I admit it, I love making chocolate desserts and cakes. They are both a downfall for me, but my husband leans more towards the fruity, light, vanilla like desserts. The French Apple Tart seemed like a perfect sweet treat for him. Of course, I couldn’t stick with the circular idea, because it was my first chance to use the super cool rectangular tart pan I picked up in the states last year. And really, who wouldn’t want to show that off!!

I chose to incorporate whole wheat flour into the crust to reduce the amount of bleached white flour I was using. This seemed to give the French Apple Tart a crunch and the salt stood out a bit more, something our guests just loved! I chose to make the filling on the stove instead of roasting it, which was just to reduce the time of the oven being on, given it is summer and hot & humid here. My kitchen seems to be practically a sauna! The apples that topped the French Apple Tart were placed in a single line instead of circles, which to be honest, was much less complicated and intimidating!

Really, everyone loved it. This was a delicious, light dessert that was perfect after a nice meal. It feels a bit strange making apple desserts in the middle of summer but I suspect this French Apple Tart will make an appearance again come fall.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 40 grams cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 7 tablespoons shortening
  • 2-4 tablespoons ice water
  • 5 Granny Smith apples
  • 3/4 cup rubia or white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 slices bread, crusts cut off and bread cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed key lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon rubia sugar

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, whole wheat flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter and shortening until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs. Add ice water a tablespoon at a time and stir together to combine. Once you can pinch the mixture and it sticks together, it has enough water (be sure to not add too much!). Press this up sides and over the bottom of a 9 inch tart pan or a 14×4 rectangular tart pan, both with removable bottom. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to make plastic stick to dough, and place in the freezer to chill at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F. Remove plastic wrap and cover with aluminum foil (spray the side that will touch the dough with cooking spray to prevent sticking). Fill tart with pie weights, dried beans or rice to weigh the dough down. Bake crust at 400F about 30 minutes or until golden brown and puffed slightly. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow crust to cool while you make filling.
  3. Peel and cube apples and place in a medium sized bowl. Add flour, bread cubes, sugar, cinnamon and lime juice, stirring well to combine. Heat a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt before adding in the apple mixture. Stir occasionally and add water (or apple juice if you have it!) by the tablespoon if needed to keep apple mixture from burning or sticking to much. (Remember you do not want a watery mixture for the filling, just add enough to prevent burning!) Cook apples until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Mash the apple mixture with a potato masher, then set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Spoon the mashed apple mixture into the cooled tart crust. Be sure to not fill it to the brim, but just slightly less in order to accomodate the topping. (It is okay to not use all the filling.)
  5. Peel and slice apples thinly. Place apple slices in a small bowl with lime juice and stir to coat apple to prevent browning. Line up the apple slices over the mashed apple puree (in a circle for circular tart pans and in a line for rectangular or square). Brush the melted butter over the apple slices and sprinkle sugar on top.
  6. Place tart pan onto a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake at 375F until browned, about 30 minutes. Transfer tart (still on the baking sheet) to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature. Cut & serve!

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