Make an Apple Tart instead of a Pie for Thanksgiving

Instead of the traditional apple pie for thanksgiving, I’ve decided to make an apple tart instead.  It totally reminds me of the Tarte aux Pommes in France that I have enjoyed.  The crust is crisp and the apples are perfectly cooked.

If you were in France you could purchase this delicious treat from any number of patisserie cases from Paris to Provence and many shops in-between.  Alas, I am not, so, of course I had to figure out how to make it.  If I do say so myself, it’s darn near as close to the taste and texture of what I’ve enjoyed in France and it’s so simple to make.

French Apple Tart
Adapted from a recipe by Sara Moulton

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-flour, plus more for dusting
12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6  – 7 Braeburn apples, peeled, cored, and halved
2 – 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, depending on sweetness desired
1/2 cup apricot jam
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Using the metal “S” blade of the food processor, combine flour, 8 tablespoons butter, and salt and pulse until pea-size crumbles form, about 10 pulses.  Drizzle in 3 tablespoons ice-cold water and pulse until dough is moistened, about 3—4 pulses.

Transfer dough to a work surface and form into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Unwrap dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough into a 13-inch circle and then transfer to an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom; trim edges; chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Working with one apple half at a time, thinly slice into sections, keeping slices together. Press the sliced apple half gently to fan it out; repeat with remaining apple halves. Place 1 fanned apple half on outer edge of the tart dough, pointing inward; repeat with 7 more apple halves.

Separate remaining apple slices. Starting where the apple halves touch and working your way in, layer apples to create a tight rose pattern. Fill in any gaps with remaining apple. Sprinkle with sugar and then dot with remaining butter. Bake until golden brown, 60—70 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat apricot jam in a small saucepan until warmed and loose; pour through a fine strainer into a small bowl and set aside. Transfer tart to a wire rack; using a pastry brush, brush top of tart with jam. Let cool completely before slicing and serving with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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