Equipment you need:
- 10-inch spring form pan. Don’t use one with a fluted edge.
- Stand up mixer with hook and paddle attachment
- large bowl/s
- parchment paper
- rolling pin
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- plastic wrap
- baking weights (uncooked beans)
- Mandolin slicer
The Short Dough – Yield 2-3 tart shells
- 6 ounces granulated white sugar
- 14 ounces room temperature butter or margarine
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a stand-up mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on slow to medium speed until no lumps are present. Do not over mix. Reign in the sugar in a steady stream while the mixer is on. Add the vanilla and one egg at the same time and mix until combined. Use the spatula to do a quick scrape of the bowl. Change the mixer attachment to the dough hook. Add the flour in 3 parts. Mix the dough until the flour and butter are combined. Be careful not to over mix as this can toughen the dough. Once finished, turn the dough out and split it up into 2 to 3 parts. It will be a little sticky. Place one part onto the center of a large piece of parchment paper. Place another large piece of parchment on top of the dough so that it is sandwiched between two pieces of parchment paper. Take the rolling pin and roll out the dough to a 1/8 inch sheet of dough. Make sure the dough is evenly rolled out by feeling for lumps. You should be able to make 2-3 sheets of dough. Place them in the fridge for 30 minutes or more to let the butter harden. (I left it in the refrigerator overnight and used it the next day. Dough will keep for weeks) Once hardened, take it out of the refrigerator and remove the top layer of parchment. Use the removable bottom of your springform pan to trace a 10-inch circle out of the dough. Remove the excess dough and place aside. It can be saved for re rolling. Reassemble the spring form pan and prep it for baking by greasing and flouring the bottom only. Place the 10-inch circle of dough into the bottom of the pan. Prick the dough with a fork a few times so that air bubbles can release while baking. Using the plastic wrap and baking weights, blind bake the crust at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove the baking weights and then return to oven until crust begins to look golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool overnight.
The Apples: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For one tart, I used 4-6 Pippin apples because they are crispy and sweet with a little bit of a tart flavor. The first thing I do is fill a large glass bowl with water and add some fresh lemon juice to make acidulated water. This prevents browning of the fruit as it oxidizes. I removed the stems and then imperfectly peeled the apples leaving some of the gorgeous red skin on so that it would add a little color to my tart later. Then using a mandolin, I sliced them whole, with the seeds and everything, into apple chips. Start at the bottom of the apple and then move towards the top, slice slowly and intentionally to get nice round circles. As I sliced the apples, I made sure to place them into the acidulated water. After I was finished, I removed any visible seeds or things that seemed to be unappealing to the eye.
Once finished with slicing, begin to arrange the apples in the tart pan on top of the crust. Layer the circles starting from the outside moving in towards the center to make a spiral pattern. I think the more apples you can fit in the better! Sprinkle a little sugar on top and then bake until apples are tender. This won’t take more than 5-7 minutes.
The Custard – Yield 1 tart
- 8 ounces heavy cream
- 2 ounces granulated white sugar
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 ounce Cointreau
- Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
Put everything into a mixing bowl and whisk until all ingredients are combined. I like to put all the ingredients into a pyrex 2 cup pitcher because it makes it easy to pour it right into the spring form pan.
Once your apples are pre-cooked, slowly pour your custard over the top. Bake until custard is set. This takes about 20-30 minutes or more. The custard will start to brown a little bit on top. As soon as you see browning, remove the custard from the oven. There will be “carry-over” baking meaning the custard will continue to cook inside as it cools.
Let cool completely. Run a warm paring knife around the edges of the pan to release the tart and then remove from pan. Slice it up and finish with creme chantilly and a dusting of cinnamon! Bon Appetite!