Thursday, November 15, 2012
Having gone apple picking last weekend and given into my uncontrollable urge to fill the bushel bags with reckless abandon, I have a serious glut of apples in my house. I've shared them generously and forcefully with friends, neighbors, and total strangers, and we've consumed a goodly share ourselves. But the fridge is still overstocked with apples.
So I've been actively seeking apple recipes, and was delighted to find this brown butter apple tart in Bon Appetit this month. I reviewed the recipe and was dismayed to discover that the crust was a two-day, rolling pin affair--I loathe rolling dough.
"Forsooth", said I, "My magic dough will fare just as well." And it did. One other simplification tactic I used: no need to core the apples and slice them into rings as BA suggests. This is a total pain, and risks slicing fingers as well as apples. I started with this thankless enterprise and promptly abandoned it. Just cut the apples as you normally would but make thinner slices.
The baked custard filling of this tart gives it more depth and richness than a typical pie, crisp or tart. It starts with vanilla beans and butter--but if you don't have vanilla beans, you can melt and brown the butter solo and add vanilla extract to the egg custard mixture in the bowl.
For the crust:
2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
Beat with mixer til dough forms crumbly bits the size of lentils. Press dough into bottom and up sides of 9 inch tart pan and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and proceed with brown butter apple tart recipe.
Note: This is the same dough we use in our raspberry bars, and fruit tarts. It can also be rolled into logs and sliced into shortbread cookies. See why we call it magic?