Light in texture and flavor, this tart doesn't even feel like a wholly inappropriate thing to eat, cold from the fridge, on a warm, late summer afternoon.
Prep Time: 20minutes
Cook Time: 1hour15minutes
Chilling time: 30minutes
All-Butter Pate Brisee
3/4cupall purpose flour
1/2cupwhole wheat pastry or whole spelt flour
4ouncesunsalted butter, cold, cut into 3/4" dice(1 stick)
1/4 -1/3cupice water
6 - 8large apples (pink pearls, or any tart baking apple), peeled, cut off the core, and thinly sliced
1/2cupsugar, plus 1 tablespoons for sprinkling
1cuphalf and half, or a combination of milk and cream
1/3cupapricot or plum jam
For the crust:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar and salt. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and rub with your fingertips until the mixture is the texture of cornmeal with some larger, pea-sized butter chunks remaining. Sprinkle the ice water over 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with your fingers or a rubber spatula, until the dough begins to clump together and no loose, floury bits remain. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Chill at least 30 minutes, or until firm.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 12 - 14" round (depending on the size of your pan). Fit the dough into a 9 or 10" tart pan. Trim the overhang to 1 inch, then fold it over to make a lip, pressing the sides gently.Freeze the tart crust while you prepare the apples and custard.
For filling and baking the tart:
Position a rack in the bottom third of your oven and preheat to 425º. If you have a baking stone, put it on the rack. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the stone or right on the rack.
Remove the unbaked crust from the freezer, and begin layering the apples in concentric circles, beginning on the outside and working your way in, until the layers sit just above the top of the tart crust, 3 - 4 layers in total.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt until well combined. Whisk in the dairy and the vanilla. Slowly pour the custard into the center of the tart. Sprinkle the apples with 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Place the tart on the heated baking sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 375º. Bake the tart for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the apples on top are golden and even slightly burnt at the tips and the custard is set, not jiggly. Remove and let cool at least an hour.
Heat the jam slightly in a small saucepan with a few drops of water until warm and loose. Strain. Brush the glaze all over the apples and edges of the crust. Slice and serve.
The tart is best the day it is baked, but can be stored for up to several days in the fridge.
Adapted from Once Upon a Tart.The original recipe called for a 9" tart pan and only 4 apples. I used a 10" pan... and 8 apples! So I'm not sure exactly how many apples you'll need, but somewhere between 6 and 8 large ones should be just fine.Some apples oxidize when cut; mine didn't, as they were quite acidic, but if yours begin to brown, toss them with a bit of lemon juice as you work to prevent them from browning.The easiest way I've found to prepare the apples is like so: use a T-shaped vegetable peeler to peel a ring from the top and bottom of the apples. Peel the rest of the apple downwards. Cut the apple off of the core. Then, with the cut-side down, slice the apples very thinly, keeping the slices together.This will make it easy to fan the slices into concentric circles.All-Butter Pate Brisee is adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook (or use a half recipe of sourdough pate brisee).Nutritional values are based on one of ten servings.