Apples, shiny and crisp
The Armchair Squid and his family invited us over for a wonderful pasta and meatball dinner on Saturday.
It was such a lovely afternoon, spending time with good friends, a dreamy, ethereal selection of music playing in the background, and anticipating a wonderful homemade meal! Our friend Paul brought loaves of his crusty bread, and we brought this Apple Almond Tart for dessert.
We chatted and played games, while the kids played outside in the crisp air.
We devoured the bread, the pasta, the meatballs, the perfectly dressed bowl of mixed salad greens. Armchair Squid’s Wife and I drank almost all the Chianti (wait, was it just me? Did I leave any for her?) Haley drank all the ginger beer.
When they eventually came back in we kept our secret close, and pretended that we had completely forgotten to plan for dessert.
The adults mumbled a vague promise of ice cream on some unspecified date to the suspicious children (while the teenager giggled behind her phone.)
On the car ride home we confessed our misdeed to Logan (he had, after all seen a tart get packed into the car at the start of our trip.) At the next gathering of families I am sure he will keep a keener eye on us, and on the dessert.
- Buttery Pastry Dough, chilled: use 1/2 of this recipe to get 1 crust
- 2 medium Cortland apples
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples* (see note at bottom)
- 2 TB lemon juice
- 8 oz. almond paste, grated
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 TB all-purpose flour, unbleached
- 1/4 c. slivered almonds
- Sea Salt Caramel Sauce
- 2 TB apple jelly, melted
- Wash and peel the apples. Slice the apples into quarters, then cut off the seeds and core from each quarter. Cut the quarters into thin slices. Place the slices in a bowl, and then toss them with the lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
- Take the chilled pastry dough and roll it out on a floured surface. Roll/cut the dough into a circle approximately 13″ in diameter.
- Pick up the dough by loosely rolling it over the rolling pin and place inside a 10″ nonstick spring-form pan (or a regular spring-form pan that has been greased.) Gently center the dough in the pan and press into the bottom. With floured fingers press the dough around the sides creating a lip that is about 1-1/2″ high. Use a fork to prick a few holes over the bottom. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place the pan in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Use a box grater to grate the almond paste into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in the sugar and eggs and beat well to combine thoroughly. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of flour. Set aside.
- Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the slivered almonds in the pan, and toast for approximately 5 minutes. Shake and stir the almonds often and watch carefully to prevent burning. When done they should be browned and fragrant. Pour the almonds out onto a cutting board and use a sharp knife to coarsely chop them.
- Take the pan with dough from the fridge. Pour the almond-sugar mixture over the bottom, and use a rubber spatula to gently spread the filling evenly over the bottom. Sprinkle the chopped, toasted almonds over the filling.
- Place the apple slices edge-down around the outside edge of the filling, overlapping each slice by about half. Continue to layer and spiral the slices toward the center. For the very center, use very thin slices of apple that you can roll to fit into the space.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes, checking occasionally to be sure apples and dough are not over-browning. When done, the apples and crust will be lightly browned, and the almond filling will look puffed.
- Place the pan on a cooling rack, and run a thin knife between the pan wall and crust to be sure it isn’t sticking. Release the latch on the springform and carefully remove the ring.
- Microwave the apple jelly in a small dish for about 25 seconds until it has melted. Use a pastry brush to brush the liquid jelly gently over the top of the apples and crust. Allow to cool completely. Use a sharp knife to cut the tart into slices.
- Remove the cover from the Sea Salt Caramel Sauce and microwave the sauce in the jar for about 15 seconds. Swirl a few drizzles of the sauce over the slices and serve.