This week’s recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie was a patisserie-worthy French Apple Tart.
Tarts are my favorite kind of dessert. I’m not clear on the difference between a tart and a pie, but somehow when something is baked in a tart pan with its fluted edges and served freestanding on a pretty plate, it tastes that much better to me. Come to think of it, I’ve baked most pie fillings in tart shells for years and couldn’t say the last time I actually made a pie.
This tart has a number of components, so it takes a while to make from official start to end. However, with advanced planning, it would be much quicker.
Once again, I found myself without an occasion to share and no need to eat an entire tart singlehandedly. All I can say is thank heavens for miniature baking dishes. Rather than make one 9-inch tart, I halved the recipe and made two 4-inch tarts with some leftover un-tarted ingredients.
As with any tart, you start with the flaky pastry crust. I didn’t use the book’s recipe for this one, preferring my favorite all-butter crust from Mark Bittman to one that contains shortening.
Next, you make an apple compote which is like a thick oven-roasted applesauce. Tart Granny Smith apples are roasted with sugar, cinnamon, flour, bread crumbs, and a bit of lemon until they are soft enough to mash up. The compote is used to fill the partially-baked tart shells.
Finally, the filled shells are topped with a circle of thinly sliced apples brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with sugar. The tart is baked until the apples are tender and start to burn on the edges. I was surprised that step took the full baking time for a whole tart even for my mini-tart.
The tarts looked very professional. I impressed myself. The contrast of the tender apple slices and the compote was delicious. If you didn’t know what was inside and were expecting all apple slices, it would be a pleasant apple-y surprise. French Apple Tart will definitely go on the list of desserts to make again. Next time, I hope my apples end up a little browner.
To read about other bakers’ tarts. follow their links from the LYL link for this recipe on the Tuesdays with Dorie site.
I’m a day late, but I did make these on time. I’d never made popovers before though I’d had them at a very special place, many times.
One of my favorite spots on this Earth is Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island in Maine. Stone meets sea in this magical place. For many summers, we spent a week there, mostly hiking with an annual sea kayaking tour, and lots of lobster dinners. Another tradition was a post-hike snack on the lawn at the Jordan Pond House. I always ordered tea and piping hot popovers with strawberry jam, and Howard had ice cream and lemonade.
I enjoyed the golden brown airy bread balls. Though they sell special popover pans in the gift shop, it was never inclined to try making them at home. I saved the treat for our summer excursions to Acadia.
I was amazed at the simplicity. Just a few ingredients combined in the blender, and the hot oven does most of the work. Since these are best served fresh out of the oven, I made just a third of the recipe (one egg’s worth). It had never occurred to me to start the day with these delights, but they were in the Morning Pastries section of the Baking with Julia book, so I made them for breakfast.
I don’t know whether it was my oven or my baking cups, but two of my popovers came out lopsided and the other had a valley in the center. The deformities didn’t impact the texture or taste. They were delicious spread with jam. I have to admit that I ate them all myself, and loved every bite. Next time I’m serving breakfast to overnight guests, I’m going to make these. The guests will be impressed, yet it will be oh, so easy!
This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie / Baking with Julia is hosted by Paula at Vintage Kitchen Notes and Amy at Bake with Amy where you can find the popover recipe. You can also find other takes on the popovers at the LYL post at Tuesdays with Dorie. Try them yourself. This recipe is quite a revelation.