I love French apple tart, for me it represents comfort. It looks tedious but it is fairly fast to prepare once the pastry dough is ready. Also, use apples which do not fall apart when thinly sliced.
I do not like to work with dry pastry dough which I find difficult to handle and falls apart when rolled out. The recipe I provide is easy to work with and has a fine texture when cooked.
Pastry dough requires minimum handling. You should mix it, knead it a little with the palm of your hands, roll it into a ball and let it rest.
• 250 gr flour
• 125 gr of cubed butter
• 1 egg
• 40 ml of cold water
• A pinch of salt and sugar
• Mix the egg and water together.
• In a large bowl, add the flour, butter, salt and sugar. Mix well with your fingertips. Add the egg water mixture mix a little and turn the dough on a work surface. Knead the dough with the palms of your hands for a few times. Do not overwork.
• Make a ball, wrap it up in cling film and place in the refrigerator to rest or to the freezer for later use.
OK you have all the kitchen gadgets at hand. Easy, in a food processor add the flour, cubed butter, sugar and salt. Pulse 3 to 5 times until it becomes grainy. Add the egg and cold water. Mix until the dough forms a ball. Wrap the dough in cling film and put it in the refrigerator to rest.
Now that we have the pastry dough we can make the tart. I will make it in 3 stages the apple compote, rolling out the pastry dough and last the assembly and cooking.
• 1.4 kg apples
• 1 lime or lemon
• 40 gr sugar
• 1 egg for the egg wash
• Apricot Jam for the glaze
The apple compote
• Peel, core and cut in eight about 800 gr of apples.
• Put them in a pot, squeeze half a lime or lemon on top and add the sugar.
• Cover and cook over medium heat until the apples are very soft and melting. That should take 10 minutes.
• Smooth the compote with a hand blander or mixer.
• Dry the compote a little on top of the stove and let it cool.
Rolling out the pastry
• Lightly butter a loose bottom tart pan.
• Roll out the dough to a 3mm thickness in the pan
• Pretty the borders as much as you can or leave it rough for a rustic look.
• Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork, and back in the refrigerator to rest for at least 20 minutes to lessen the shrinkage.
The assembly and cooking
• Core an apple (one apple at the time), peel and rub with lime or lemon to avoid oxidation, and cut in half lengthwise
• Place half an apple on a cutting board and using a knife, with the thinnest blade, finely slice the apple
• Place the apple compote on the tart shell, smooth the surface
• Spiral the apple slices with a tight overlap on top of the compote
• Bake in an 180 Celsius oven for 20 minutes
• Remove from the oven and slide out the ring from the loose bottom tin.
• Apply a coat of egg wash on the pastry and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes
• When the tart is done, it should have a nice golden colour, apply a glaze of apricot.
Tips – Mix one egg for the egg wash. Dissolve a little water in apricot jam for the glaze.