….Tart. Having offered to be the dessert maker for our Thanksgiving celebration, I wanted to make sure that I presented an end to the great meal that would be something that would appeal to all the guests and be would representative of the holiday. My first thought was of a pumpkin cheesecake, but I rejected that at once as being a bit too heavy. I am not a pumpkin pie fan, so that too was dismissed. A few years back a friend served a luscious pumpkin panna cotta, but I didn’t want to mess with individual servings.
And then it hit me-it had to be something with apples. I remember a delicious apple tart that I was served while visiting my friend B. in the UK. I searched and searched for her recipe and by the time I found it, I had already chosen one that I found on Epicurious. The filling is ground almonds with a touch of Calvados (an apple brandy) topped by tart, thinly sliced apples. Served with a dollop of whipped cream, it was the perfect last bite to our holiday meal.
Apple Almond Tart
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons Calvados or brandy
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
3 large tart green apples, cored and sliced into thin wedges
1/4 cup apricot preserves
Stir egg yolks into Calvados. Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor, add butter and cut in using on/off turns until the butter is the size of small peas. With the machine running, add the yolk mixture. Process until moist clumps form. Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. (Can be made a day ahead and kept refrigerated. Let soften slightly before rolling).
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 14″ round. Transfer to an 11″ tart pan with removable bottom. Fold overhang in and press. Chill while making filling.
1-1/4 cups blanched, slivered almonds
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons Calvados or brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
Combine almonds, 3/4 cup sugar, eggs 1 tablespoon Calvados, extracts and salt in food processor. Blend until soft paste forms. Add 4 tablespoons butter and blend 10 seconds. Spread in crust. Chill until firm, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile stir apples, 1 tablespoon Calvados and 1 tablespoon sugar in large bowl. Let stand 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drain apples, overlap in concentric circles atop filling. Melt 2 tablespoon butter and brush over apples. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.
Bake tart 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the apples are tender, about 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven. Stir preserves and 1 tablespoon Calvados in small saucepan until preserves melt. Strain into small bowl and brush over apples. Cool.