Now that winter is approaching in Buenos Aires, I’m feeling rather confused. While I’m much more of a summer fan, I’ve still always enjoyed fall and (early) winter. Not too unbearably cold yet, the air is crisp with the smell of fallen leaves, and everyone’s feeling all celebratory and familial in preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas…
Except it’s June. So really, it’s not like that at all.
In my confused little mind, early June is a time for rhubarb pie and cherry cobbler. But the markets are overflowing with apples and pears. And while according to the climate I should be baking pumpkin rolls, I just refuse to do that in June. Of course there’s also the fact that finding pumpkin here is about as easy as buying dollars...but I digress.
Life is giving me apples? I’ll make an apple tart.
I have to give credit to Gaspar for bringing this recipe into the rotation. I suspect he was on a mission to find something even remotely healthy for me to bake, and the fruit to pastry ratio in this tart suited his needs. He sent me the recipe, I made it, it filled the apartment with an absolutely heavenly smell, and we ate it all that night.
That’ll teach him.
I’ve made it a few times since, and think it’d also be excellent with pears. (I’ll report back). This can be made in a pie pan, or free form as a galette. I kind of combine the two, because I like the look of the galette but find that using a pie pan keeps all the delicious juices from oozing out, and it’s much easier to transport if you’re not eating it at home.
This recipe is adapted from the one Gaspar found on Smitten Kitchen.
SIMPLE APPLE TART
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, just softened, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 1/2 Tablespoons chilled water
4 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced. Save the peels and cores.
2 Tablespoons melted butter
4 Tablespoons sugar
Apple peels and cores
1 cup sugar
Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Blend with a fork until dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Add remaining butter and continue to blend with a fork until the biggest pieces look like large peas. Dribble in some of the water, stir, then dribble in more, until dough just holds together. Toss with hands, letting it fall through fingers, until it’s ropy with some dry patches. If dry patches predominate, add another tablespoon water. Keep tossing until you can roll dough into a ball. Flatten into a 4-inch-thick disk and refrigerate.
After at least 30 minutes, remove and let soften so it’s malleable but still cold. Smooth cracks at edges. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Place dough in a lightly greased 9-inch round tart pan, or simply on a parchment-lined baking sheet if you wish to go free-form, or galette-style with it. Heat oven to 400°F.
Overlap apples on dough in a ring 2 inches from edge if going galette-style, or up to the sides if using the tart pan. Continue inward until you reach the center. Fold any dough hanging over pan back onto itself. Brush melted butter over apples and onto dough edge. Sprinkle sugar over apples and dough edge.
Bake in center of oven until apples are soft, with browned edges, and crust has caramelized to a dark golden brown (about 45 minutes), making sure to rotate tart every 15 minutes. (This may or may not be necessary in your oven…it definitely is in mine).
To make the glaze, put the reserved peels and cores in a large saucepan, along with sugar. Pour in just enough water to cover and simmer, stirring occasionally so that sugar doesn’t burn, until syrup forms. This could take anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes, depending on your stovetop. The original recipe said 25, for me it’s 45.
Remove tart from oven and set on wire rack to cool. If free-form, slide off parchment paper and set directly onto cooling rack. Let cool at least 15 minutes.
Brush glaze over tart, slice, and serve.