French Apple rose tart by Sarah Todd

 Preparation   20 mins
 Cook   60 mins
 Serves  8

 

Ingredients

For The Crust

190g all-purpose flour

65g caster sugar

pinch salt

140g cold unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan

1 egg yolk

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp cold water, as needed

 

For The Filling

3 medium crisp, tart apples

50g sugar

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

pinch salt

 

For The Glaze

3 tablespoons smooth apricot jam

 

To serve 

Dollop of crème fraiche

 

Method 

For The Crust

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter pieces on top, and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, and pulse until incorporated. Pulse in the water, about 2 teaspoons at a time, until the dough starts to hold together. It will appear to be a bit crumbly but will hold together easily when pressed.

Lightly butter a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press in dough mixture evenly on the bottom and sides of pan. (Use a lightly floured straight-sided measuring cup to help press the dough into the corners of the pan.)

Freeze the formed dough in the pan until completely firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 190 degrees.

Line the tart shell with a piece of aluminum foil or baking paper and rice, making sure to tuck it into the corners and over the edges. Bake the shell for 20 to 25 minutes or until the dough appears dry and lightly golden.

Cool slightly while you prepare the apples.

 

For The Filling

Cut the apples from their cores in 3 pieces: Stand the apples up, with the stems facing up, and, using a sharp knife, cut 1 face of the apple, then rotate the apple about 120 degrees, slice again, and finally slice the last piece from the core. You should have a triangle-shaped piece of core left and 3 pieces of apple with flat bottoms.

Apple tart

Reserve a smaller piece of apple, and carefully slice all the other apples into very thin half-moons, about 1/8-inch thick (it’s a good idea to squeeze a little bit of lemon juice over the sliced apples to prevent browning as you take your time to slice.) Make sure to keep the slices together as you cut to make the assembly easier. 

Once the apples are sliced, build the tart: Sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon sugar on the bottom of the blind-baked tart shell. Starting at the outer edge, arrange the apples in tight concentric circles, overlapping each slice about halfway over its neighbor. Take care to stand the apples up vertically, with the cut edges down and the peel edge pointing up. Pack the rows very tightly, stopping periodically to check your work.

As you move toward the center, the apples will become trickier to bend into place. If you find the slices are breaking, slice the reserved piece of apple even thinner to make it easier to bend. Roll the last few slices into a circle and tuck it in the center. 

Apple rose tart

Sprinkle the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and a pinch of salt over the apple slices. Take care to sprinkle the sugar between the apple slices, rather than on top.

Scatter the butter pieces on top, and bake the tart for 40 to 45 minutes or until the apples begin to brown just slightly on the edges and the crust is a deep golden brown. Check the tart periodically to make sure the shell is not over-browning at the edges. If it is, cover the edges with foil.

 Cool the tart on a rack for about 10 minutes, then prepare the glaze.

For The Glaze

In a small saucepan, warm the jam and a few drops of water over medium-low heat until it is runny. Use a pastry brush to brush the warm tart very gently with jam. Avoid brushing jam on the crust, but a thin layer all over the apple slices.

Serve warm or room temperature with a dollop of crème fraiche.

Apple Rose Tart

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