As we were walking through the grocery store the other day J. spied a table piled high with apple pies from a well known bakery from up in the local mountains. He stood there a little too long and I knew what that meant, so I steered him away from the pastry boxes with the promise of baking something with apples when we got home. I’m not much for pies so I knew immediately that it would be a tart.
One of my favorite fall desserts is apple crisp. Yes, apples are delicious, but I’m a fool for that crumb topping-crispy and buttery with a touch of cinnamon and lots of brown sugar. I decided to bake an apple crumb tart and satisfy J.’s urge for a pie and my love of apple crisp.
I went to the Tartine cookbook for a crust recipe. I wish I could say that I knew one off the top of my head, but I always check a recipe when making a crust. Of course, I got sidetracked once I opened the book and spent at least an hour pouring over the book and making a list of what I’ll be baking next. If you’ve never been to Tartine, you have to make a point of visiting this incredible bakery on your next trip to San Francisco.
Apple Crumb Tart
Pate Sablee (Sweet Tart Dough) makes 4-9″ tart shells
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs at room temperature
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar and salt and mix on medium speed. Mix in 1 egg and then add the second egg and mix until smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the flour all at once and mix on low speed until just incorporated.
On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into equal balls and flatten each into a disc. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into an 11″ circle. Ease the dough into tart pan, without stretching it. Trim the dough level with the top of the pan. Place the shell in the refrigerator or freezer until form, about 15 minutes.
Make small holes in the bottom of the dough using a fork. Place in the oven and partially bake the crust for 10 minutes, until it is lightly colored (if your recipe calls for a fully baked crust, bake 5 minutes longer until golden brown).
4 Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons sugar
Mix all together and place in partially baked crust.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 stick butter (cold), cut into pieces
Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt together. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut the butter into dry ingredients until crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs over apples. Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream. Serves: 6-8
Check Cook with Panini Girl in Italy up above the header for all the details on the spring trip to Lucca.