Oh my goodness!
I think this is just about the prettiest apple tart I’ve ever made. EVER.
But the beauty about this one … is that it’s not just pretty. Oh heck no. It’s tasty as well. Like … truly delicious … melt in your mouth … bet you can’t eat just one slice … kinda good.
Wanna know the secret? It’s all in the filling … apple-rhubarb filling.
Mother of pearl.
Tart with a hint of sweetness (just a hint) … this modern twist on the classic french apple tart has quickly become my *new* favourite.
Lucky for me – I was able to get my apples while picking up my weekly fruit and veggies in the byward market … and I was gifted a whole bunch of rhubarb from my boss (you gotta love a boss that brings you rhubarb from his garden not once … but twice a season!). It was time to put it to use … and what great use.
I decided to use cortland apples for this because they hold their shape well, and I really wanted the ring of apple slices on top to sit pretty once baked. Plus I enjoy the tartness of cortlands. I will definitely make this again – and likely remember to add a handful of fresh cranberries to the fruit filling as well. And to make it REALLY Canadian … I’ll sprinkle maple sugar instead of regular sugar on top of the apples before baking the tart.
Overall … success. Actually … this was a HUGE success. I strongly recommend you add this to your thanksgiving dessert options. I promise all your friends and family will thank you for it.
1 recipe pâte brisée (I opted to use an unsweetened pastry – you can follow my recipe and simply omit the sugar)
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
7 stalks of rhubarb, diced
4-5 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 lemon, juice
1/2 c. sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on top
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. butter, melted
In a medium saucepan, combine the diced apple and rhubarb, the lemon juice, sugar, vanilla bean and water. Cook the filling over medium-high heat, stirring often so that the fruit doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Once everything is bubbling – turn the heat down to a simmer (keep uncovered), and allow the fruit to break-down and the liquid to evaporate. This should take all of 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cooled – remove the vanilla pod from the filling.
Heat the oven to 375 F.
Roll out the pastry (made at least one hour in advance in order to chill and rest). Flour your work surface and roll out the dough as thinly as possible … ensuring that the pastry circumference is slightly larger than your tart pan. Gently press the dough into the pan, and remove the excess dough that will hang over the edges.
Once the tart shell is ready … start to fill it with the cooked fruit. I used a small spatula to push the fruit around ensuring that I have an even layer.
Then it’s time to place the apple slices. You want to cover the entire surface: start by placing the slices of apple around the side of the tart, overlapping the pieces so that they fit tightly against one another. Keep adding slices. You might think that it’s overkill … but it’s not. I even went back and added another slice of apple between every other slice … you want it to be a really tight fit.
Once the entire surface is covered with apple slices, brush with melted butter and sprinkle (generously enough) with sugar. That’s it. Time to bake.
Bake for about 60 minutes (lower rack of the oven so that the dough bakes through). You’ll know it’s ready when the apples are golden and the filling bubbles slightly under the surface. You’ll know it’s ready … it will smell divine.
When ready … pull it out of the oven … and wait.
I know. How cruel am I? You’re probably thinking … WHY MUST I WAIT?!
Just wait about 10 minutes. You want it to rest a little, allowing the juices to settle. And then … dig in. I bet you don’t stop with just one piece. Seriously … this is delicious.