French Apple Tart...

Another weekend, another tart.  This time Ina Garten's apple tart.  Another incredibly simple recipe, this one is a combination of apple slices and puff pastry.  If the quantity of sugar looks a little daunting, I have to say, it did all absorb into the apples, and didn't taste too sweet.  Total prep time is minimal if you use shop bought puff pastry - I think I had the whole thing in the oven within ten minutes!


for the pastry
300g plain flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
170g cold unsalted butter, diced
150g ice water

for the apples
4 Granny Smith apples
150g sugar 
55g cold unsalted butter, small-diced 
½ cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam (see note)
2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water

  • For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 
  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC  and line a baking tray with parchment paper. 
  • Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 x 14 inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples. 
  • Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baller. Slice the apples crosswise in ¼-inch-thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.) Sprinkle with the full ½ cup sugar and dot with the butter.  
  • Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don’t worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine! When the tart’s done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the preserve mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn’t stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

  • Judging the diagonal line is a little harder than it appears - I score a faint line along the edge of the chopping board to ensure you get the first line in correctly.  The others are then a little easier to judge...
  • Even if you're not keen on Calvados, do use if for the glaze - the smell is ridiculous, your kitchen will smell fantastic!  You could also scent some creme fraiche with Calvados too...
  • Ina is keen to point out more than once that you should take the apples to the point of slightly blackening them - it's this additional caramelisation with adds to the flavour - don't be afraid - keep an keen eye on them, but push it a tiny bit further than you think.  I did rotate mine several times, but the colour was still darker on one side than on the other - looking at my photo, it's possible that I had more butter on one side of the tart than on the other - try to ensure it's evenly spread

Core the apples with a melon baller, and nick out the root

Scatter the apples slices with sugar and butter
The tart, glazed with apricot preserve and calvados