When I lived in Europe as a missionary, another missionary and I were visiting a family that belonged to our church. As we sat and visited, Soeur Perrier threw together (and baked) this amazing tart. As Sunday was going to be my holiday dinner with my friends, but it was also Sarah’s birthday, I had planned on making a red velvet cake (birthday cake for Sarah)…but to no avail. Harmon’s was all out of red velvet mix and, while I do love baking from scratch, I have yet to find a recipe that is as good as Duncan Hines box mix.
I had a dilemma. It was 1 am Saturday night (Sunday morning…whatever). I love Sarah dearly, but I had no desire to spend more time out in the snowy streets, driving to another store, at 1 in the morning. What’s a girl to do? Well, I decided that, since dinner was a traditional Swiss meal (December 9th is both Sarah’s birthday and Raclette Day), I would bake a delicious tarte aux pommes to go with it. I had a rough idea of what ingredients I needed, added them to my cart full of potatoes and cheese, and headed home.
I’m sure many of you have had an apple tart. It’s pretty basic. Pastry, apples, some sugar, maybe butter and glaze (usually strained apricot jam). But this is a little different. So, without further ado…here’s the recipe.
Basic dough (because there is quite a bit more sugar in this recipe, I didn’t use a sugared shell)
- 1 1/4 c. flour
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 c. cold, unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp ice water
Stir together dry ingredients. Cut in butter – use a pastry cutter for a truly flaky crust. Add water until the dough just pulls together. Do not chill. Roll out in a 13 inch circle for a 10 inch tart pan (the dough should be about 1/8 inch thick). Fork the bottom of the shell (this allows air and steam to escape without destroying your tart).Filling
- 2 lbs of apples (I used about 6 large Jonagold apples)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 c. sugar (plus a little for sprinkling)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 c. heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 F with rack in lower 1/3 of oven. Peel, core and slice the apples. Place apples in the tart shell in some kind of layered pattern. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 minutes (until apples are tender and barely golden).While baking, combine eggs and sugar. Mix until light yellow. Add vanilla and cream. Stir to combine.
When apples are tender, remove tart and pour custard mixture over apples. Return to oven and bake another 10 – 15 minutes, until custard is set. Serve warm or chilled.