I love that we now have an acceptable and affectionate term for those desserts that are a bit…um…messy. The word? Rustic.
If you call something rustic, you have given its rough edges an endearing, earthy quality. Who needs fuss?, we say. Life isn’t perfect…why should our desserts be?
That being said, this rustic apple tart is not only beautifully imperfect, but incredibly delicious. The added wheat flour and sour cream make the dough extra sturdy to hold even the gooiest of cinnamon apples. It is amazing warm out of the oven after dinner, or cold out of the fridge in the morning. (Yes, I believe apple tart is an acceptable breakfast. Don’t you?)
The tart is free-form, meaning you don’t press it into a tart pan. Instead, you use your good ole fingers to form a lovely home for sweet, sliced apples.
- 2 T light sour cream (I’ve also used yogurt)
- 2-4 T ice water
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I used KAF Unbleached White Whole Wheat)
- 1 T sugar
- 1/2 t salt
- 8 T unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces and chilled
Stir sour cream and 2 T water together and refrigerate until needed. Process (or whisk) flours, sugar, and salt together. Scatter butter pieces over top and pulse (or use a pastry cutter) until mixture resembles coarse meal. Continue, adding sour cream mixture until dough comes together. You can add more ice water here. Turn dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a nice 6-inch round. Wrap tightly in wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. (I made mine a day ahead.)
When ready, roll dough out between two pieces of floured parchment paper into a 12-inch circle. (You can see from my picture that mine was a very very rough circle. Rustic, right?) Place on cookie sheet and refrigerate until firm. Take out and remove the top parchment paper.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1/8 t cinnamon (I did a bit more)
- 1 lb. Granny Smith apples (about 2 large)
- 1 lb. McIntosh apples (I had to use Fugi for one tart, and Jazz for the other)
- 3 T apple or other jelly
Core and peel apples. I have one of those corer/slicer things, so I did that first, then peeled them with a paring knife, and cut each slice into three. They’re supposed to be 1/4 inch thick, so don’t do it too thin! Mix cinnamon, sugar, and lemon together, then toss in the apples slices. Mix well.
Make a “wall” of apples in a circle in the middle of the dough. You want to leave room outside the apple wall so the juices have somewhere to go. Build up the middle with apples. Pull your tart dough up around the apples and fold it over the fruit, pleating every 2 or 3 inches as needed. I brushed the dough with some of the leftover apple/sugar juice, then sprinkled on a good amount of raw sugar over the whole thing.
Bake until golden, crisp, and tender, which was about 45-50 minutes. Brush jelly over the exposed apples to soften them. Let sit for a few minutes, then use spatula to loosen from parchment and place on rack to cool. Serve as is or a la mode!
Be honest…don’t you wish you could have a slice right now? Make it this weekend and impress your friends, if you’re able to share. (You may want to make two, just in case!)
Apple tart is my favorite way to enjoy the season’s simplest fruit. What’s yours?