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Amazing Classic Rustic Apple Tart

classic rustic apple tart feature image.

Apple pie without the fuss. This crust is easy to prepare with a little help of some parchment paper. A French-style rustic apple tart that has a free-form buttery flaky crust with apples that are baked until tender and delicious. An all time family favorite served with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.

Ingredients:

ingredients for rustic apple tart.

How to make this Amazing Classic Rustic Apple Tart:

start with making the crust.

THE CRUST: Cut the butter in quarters lengthwise and then cut each strip into six pieces. Pile onto a plate and slide into the freezer until ready to use. Measure 1/4 cup water and refrigerate until ready to use. For the next step, you can use a pastry blender, two butter knives, a fork or my preference-a food processor. I prefer the food processor for this job because it does everything faster.

To bring the crust together, add the flour, sugar and salt to the food processor and pulse briefly to mix up your dry ingredients.  Add 2/3 of the chilled butter pieces to the flour mixture and blend, cutting the butter into the flour until all of the butter is coating the flour and it looks like cornmeal. Return the remaining 1/3 of the butter back to the freezer until ready to use.

add the flour and sugar to the blender.

PULSE IT: Your flour/butter mixture should look like cornmeal (left) and should hold together when squeezed. Add the rest of the chilled butter and pulse, checking often to make sure you’re not breaking down the butter too fast. You should have pea size pieces of butter and some that is completely mixed into the flour.

picture shows how the mixture should come together.

MIX IT: Empty mixture into a large bowl. If you find that your butter is softening up, pop the bowl into the freezer for a few minutes and that will solidify the butter again. Drizzle 1/4 cup ice cold water over the flour mixture, and using a silicone spatula, toss to mix the little bit of water into the flour.

Now, use both hands-one hand to stir with a spatula and the other hand to pinch and toss the dough. You can use both hands if you’d like, but our hands get too warm. Use this pinch and toss method until it forms a shaggy, moist dough with some floury bits remaining (right image). Careful to pinch and not squeeze the dough as you are doing this. The dough should start to come together.

pinch and toss the dough.

SMEAR IT: You might find it hard to believe, but this shaggy mess will eventually become a dough that you can roll. Get ready for baking magic! Empty the shaggy dough onto a work surface and gather it together with a bench scraper or the back of a knife into a mound (middle pic).

With the heel of your hand, you are going to smear the dough. Starting with the top of the mound and using the heel of your hand, smear a section of the dough down and along the work surface away from you to blend the butter pieces into the dough. Let the heel of your hand glide across the butter and flour on your work surface – this will create layers of butter and flour. Try not to press down on the dough with the palms of your hand; using just the heel of your hand for this task. The french term for this technique is called Fraisage.

Using a bench scraper, fold the dough together (the mixture will be rough and crumbly). Turn the pile about 90 degrees and repeat the smearing process until the mixture just comes together into a cohesive dough. Be careful not to overwork the dough because that will make the crust dense.

fold and shape the dough.

SHAPE IT: At this point your dough should start to hold a shape. Using your hands, or plastic wrap, shape the dough into a 7″ disk. If you see small cracks in the dough (middle pic) try and fix them now by pressing and shaping the dough together without overworking it. If you leave the cracks, when you start rolling, they will become huge cracks and problematic. Wrap your disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

making the filling for the apple tart.

THE FILLING: Take the disk of dough from the refrigerator. If it is very cold, set it out at room temperature until it’s just pliable enough to roll, about 10 minutes. While the dough is resting, make the filling. Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 4 cups) and place in a large bowl. Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, melted butter, and salt; toss to combine.

check for dough for pliability.

Check your dough for pliability, you want to make sure it bends a little bit. How long it rests on the counter will depend on how warm or chilly it is in your kitchen.

roll the dough.

ROLL IT: We will be rolling the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper. This will make the rolling task super easy and manageable. Arrange a large piece of parchment on the work surface and dust with flour, put the unwrapped dough in the center and dust the top. Cover the dough with a second piece of parchment. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough between the parchment. Continuous 45 degree turns of the dough while you roll will give you a rounder shape. If you notice your dough cracking, gently mold it back together. Take your time rolling, there is no rush.

If you do need to pick up the kids from school or run an errand, because the dough is on parchment, you can slide it onto a cookie sheet, wrap in plastic wrap and pop into the refrigerator. When you’re ready to roll again, remove it from the fridge and let it become pliable again before continuing.

As you roll your dough, try not to taper the edges. Prevent this from happening by not rolling over the edges with the rolling pin (left image). Instead, roll to the ends without rolling over, turn your entire disk and parchment and roll in the other direction. After a few rolls and turns, remove parchment and dust your dough. Very carefully, flip over the two pieces of parchment with the dough sandwiched between. Again, remove the parchment and dust the dough. You will notice some flour buildup along the edges (right pic), just dust that off. Continue turning, lifting, and repositioning the parchment and lightly flouring throughout the rolling until you have a circle slightly larger than 14 inches.

shape the tart in a circle.

SHAPE IT: Peel away the top parchment and, if you prefer, trim off some of the jagged edges to make a clean 14 inch circle (you can save the scraps and dust with some cinnamon sugar to make cookies). Carefully lift the parchment with dough and transfer it to a half sheet pan (13×18). A little of the dough will be hanging over the edge of the sheet pan. At this point your dough is good to go.

add the apple mixture to the crust and fold it in.

ASSEMBLE IT: Arrange the apple slices on top in overlapping concentric circles to within 3 inches of the edge. Or if time is limited, you can just empty the apples in the center of the dough and spread them out while still staying within 3 inches from the edge.

Using two hands, gently fold the dough edge up and over the filling, pleating the dough as you go. Gently press the pleats to seal. If the pleats won’t stick, dab a little water between the folds and press together. Be careful not to pull or stretch the dough — it will not cover the fruit completely. Patch up any tears by pinching a bit of dough from the edge.

pinch the dough edges to finalize the shape.

TOP IT: Using a pastry brush, brush the dough border evenly with the beaten egg. Sprinkle half of the turbinado sugar over the top crust, pressing gently so it sticks to the dough, and the other half over the fruit. This will leave your crust glistening with a nice crunch. Chill the assembled tart in the fridge for 15 minutes.

While you wait, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F degrees.

Remove chilled tart from refrigerator and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the crust is golden and cooked through.

.

bake and glaze the apple tart.

GLAZE IT: Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool for 20 minutes. You may notice some juice leakage, this is perfectly normal. Sometimes you’ll have a little less, sometimes you’ll have a little bit more.

While the tart cools, make the glaze. In a small bowl, mix the apricot jam, 1-1/2 teaspoons water and heat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Using a pastry brush, brush the apples with the apricot syrup.

Use two large offset spatulas to transfer the tart to a serving plate or cutting board. The tart is best served warm on the day it is made, and delicious with ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Leftovers will keep on the countertop, covered, or refrigerator for a few days. It can be warmed slightly in a 300 degree oven.

final feature image of fully cooked tart.
classic rustic apple tart

Amazing Classic Rustic Apple Tart

Yield: 8

Apple pie without the fuss. A French-style rustic apple tart that has a free-form buttery flaky crust with apples that are baked until tender and delicious.

Ingredients

  • For the Crust:
  • 11 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup very cold water
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  
  • For the Filling:
  • 3 Baking apples (1 3/4 lbs)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  •  
  • For Glaze and Topping:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apricot jam (optional)

Instructions

To Make the Crust:

1. Cut the butter in quarters lengthwise and then cut each strip into six pieces. Pile onto a plate and slide into the freezer until ready to use. Measure water and refrigerate until ready to use. Add the flour, sugar and salt to the food processor and pulse briefly to mix up your dry ingredients.

2. Add 2/3 of the chilled butter pieces to the flour mixture and blend, cutting the butter into the flour until all of the butter is coating the flour and it looks like cornmeal. Return the remaining 1/3 of the butter back to the freezer until ready to use.

3. Add the rest of the chilled butter and pulse, checking often to make sure you're not breaking down the butter too fast. You should have pea size pieces of butter and some that is completely mixed into the flour.

4. Empty mixture into a large bowl. Drizzle 1/4 cup ice cold water over the flour mixture, and using a silicone spatula, toss to mix the little bit of water into the flour.

5. Stir with a spatula in one hand, and use your other hand to pinch and toss the dough. Use this pinch and toss method until it forms a shaggy, moist dough with some floury bits remaining. The dough should start to come together.

6. Empty the shaggy dough onto a work surface and gather it together with a bench scraper or the back of a knife into a mound.

7. Starting with the top of the mound and using the heel of your hand, smear a section of the dough down and along the work surface away from you to blend the butter pieces into the dough.

8. Using a bench scraper, fold the dough together (the mixture will be rough and crumbly). Turn the pile about 90 degrees and repeat the smearing process until the mixture just comes together into a cohesive dough. Be careful not to overwork the dough.

9. At this point your dough should start to hold a shape. Using your hands, or plastic wrap, shape the dough into a 7" disk. Fix any cracks in the dough by pressing and shaping the dough together without overworking it. Wrap your disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

10. Take the disk of dough from the refrigerator. If it is very cold, let it rest for about 10 minutes until it’s just pliable enough to roll. While the dough is resting, make the filling.

To Make the Filling:

1. Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 4 cups) and place in a large bowl. Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, melted butter, and salt; toss to combine.

2. Check your dough for pliability, you want to make sure it bends a little bit. How long it rests on the counter will depend on how warm or chilly it is in your kitchen.

3. Roll the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Arrange a large piece of parchment on the work surface and dust with flour, put the unwrapped dough in the center and dust the top. Cover the dough with a second piece of parchment. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough between the parchment. Continuous 45 degree turns of the dough while you roll will give you a rounder shape. If you notice your dough cracking, gently mold it back together.

4. As you roll your dough, try not to taper the edges. Prevent this from happening by not rolling over the edges with the rolling pin. Instead, roll to the ends without rolling over, turn your entire disk and parchment and roll in the other direction. After a few rolls and turns, remove parchment and dust your dough.

5. Very carefully, flip over the two pieces of parchment with the dough sandwiched between. Again, remove the parchment and dust the dough. You will notice some flour buildup along the edges, just dust that off. Continue turning, lifting, and repositioning the parchment and lightly flouring throughout the rolling until you have a circle slightly larger than 14 inches.

6. Peel away the top parchment and, if you prefer, trim off some of the jagged edges to make a clean 14 inch circle. Carefully lift the parchment with dough and transfer it to a half sheet pan (13x18). A little of the dough will be hanging over the edge of the sheet pan. At this point your dough is good to go.

Assembling the Tart:

1. Arrange the apple slices on top in overlapping concentric circles to within 3 inches of the edge or arrange in the center of your crust in a free form style. Using two hands, gently fold the dough edge up and over the filling, pleating the dough as you go. Gently press the pleats to seal. If the pleats won’t stick, dab a little water between the folds and press together. Patch up any tears by pinching a bit of dough from the edge.

2. Using a pastry brush, brush the dough border evenly with the beaten egg. Sprinkle half of the turbinado sugar over the top crust, pressing gently so it sticks to the dough, and the other half over the fruit. This will leave your crust glistening with a nice crunch. Chill the assembled tart in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

3 While you wait, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F degrees. Remove chilled tart from refrigerator and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the crust is golden and cooked through.

4. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool for 20 minutes. You may notice some juice leakage, this is perfectly normal. While the tart cools, make the glaze. In a small bowl, mix the apricot jam, 1-1/2 teaspoons water and heat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Using a pastry brush, brush the apples with the apricot syrup.

5. Use two large offset spatulas to transfer the tart to a serving plate or cutting board. Best served warm on the day it is made with ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream.

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