Jun 12 2011

French Tart, A Play in Two Acts

Published by Christine at 8:13 pm under Sweets

Act I: We were going to a friend’s house for dinner last night, and the word was that we should bring dessert – a small price to pay for what was yet another feast. At first, I was in the mood for something chocolate, for two reasons: one, I’m always in the mood for chocolate and two, I assume that everyone is like me, always in the mood for chocolate. Am I right, or am I right? Please don’t say no.

The chocolate idea, however, quickly bit the dust when I realized I was a) out of heavy cream and b) out of time for making what I really wanted, which was a chocolate cream pie. Better luck next time, and I will let you know how that turns out when it finally happens. And it will happen. Oh yes, it will.

My second thought was for chocolate-covered strawberries, but then again, time was running out for the making of those. Mr. Jagger, with all due respect, you and your friends were wrong.



Act II: So now what? A pie still seemed perfect, but since the chocolate idea was about as likely to happen as a home-made anti-gravity device (don’t try this at home, kids), I quickly switched to another favorite flavor: almond. I particularly enjoy the combination of frangipane, an almond meal-based filling for cakes and pies, and apples, and so I settled for an apple tart à la frangipane. A tart, by definition, consists of a filling spread over a pastry base with an open top. In France, apple pies are not very common, but apple tarts are: these are usually made of cut apples artistically spread over apple compote on top of a pastry crust, which is then baked. Last night’s tart was made with frangipane instead of compote; I boosted the almond flavor of the filling by adding a tablespoon of amaretto to the mix, and made my life easier by using store-bought puff pastry (Trader Joe’s has a great one, but Pepperidge Farm works too).

And there you have it: a French Tart in two acts, chocolate-less yet flavorful. I’m not up for a Tony award tonight, but I’ll take a bow anyway.


Tarte aux Pommes à la Frangipane

1 sheet puff pastry
2/3 cup almond meal
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp amaretto (I used Disaronno)
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup + 2 tsp sugar
1 stick butter, room temperature
2 apples
2 Tbsp apple or apricot jelly

Cream together the butter and 1/2 cup sugar until fluffy. Add egg and egg yolk and mix well. Add amaretto. Mix almond meal and flour together and add to the butter and sugar mix.

Roll out puff pastry and line a tart pan with it. Spread the almond filling at the bottom. Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut in 1/4″ slices and spread the slices over the filling, overlapping them as you go around:

Round and round and round they go; where they stop, nobody knows.

Before putting in the oven, fold over the pastry edges, and sprinkle with remaining 2 tsp sugar.

The name is Tart. Apple Tart.

Bake at 400 for about 40 min, or until golden. When cool, melt apple or apricot jelly in the microwave for 30 sec. and brush over the tart to give it a pretty gloss.



3 responses so far

3 Responses to “French Tart, A Play in Two Acts”

  1. Emilyon 13 Jun 2011 at 7:09 am

    Just stunning and you made me chuckle, as always.

  2. Maryon 13 Jun 2011 at 3:11 pm

    This was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. THANKS for bringing it over. We’re finishing it tonight, though we’re out of calvados.

  3. Christineon 13 Jun 2011 at 5:44 pm

    The calva made it, really.

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