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Double Apple French Tart

Simply Luxurious
With Shannon's classic pastry and Dorie Greenspan's filling inspired by Julia Child's beloved Baking with Julia television series, this tart is a luxurious fall dessert that is really quite simple to make.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

Shannon's Pastry

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter top quality, my favorite is Isigny Sainte-Mère
  • 1-2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fleur de sel
  • 4-5 Tbsp cold water

Double Apple Filling

  • 5 apples peeled, cored and roughly cubed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup panko or fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Double Apple Topping

  • 3 apples peeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled (rough chopped) melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar

Instructions
 

The Pastry

  • To make the pastry, combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter (chilled) in a food processor and pulse until mixed and fine crumbs appear.
  • Add the water gradually (how much you use will depend upon the humidity of your locale). Listen for the dough to begin to come together. Once it begins this process, stop pulsing - you are set. Place into a ball and press into a slight disc shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

The Apple Filling (applesauce-esque)

  • Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
  • Prepare the five apples (peel, core, and roughly cube).
  • Line a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper. Place the cubed apple pieces in one layer onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle the sugar, flour, cinnamon and bread crumbs over the apples. Mix with your hands until evenly distributed over the apples. Arrange the apples again so they lay flat on the baking sheet.
  • Place into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the apples are soft and capable of being mashed.
  • Place the cooked apples into a mixing bowl and mash with a fork or masher. They do not need to be mashed into a smooth applesauce, but rather a rough mash so that some of the apples are visible and an observer would know it is a homemade applesauce.
  • Let the applesauce cool. Set aside while you roll out the pastry and blind bake.

Baking the Pastry

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Roll out the dough and place in a tart pan(s) of your choice. Trim the edges, place parchment paper to cover the dough and place pie weights or beans (or rice) to hold the parchment paper in place while blind baking. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is lightly brown.
  • Let cool.
  • Reduce the heat of the oven to 375.

The Apple Topping

  • Peel, core and slice about 1/4" thick. As you are slicing the apples, place the slices into a small bowl with lemon juice so as not to brown while they wait to be placed on top of the filling.
  • Take the blind baked pastry shell, fill with the applesauce filling.
  • Begin arranging the apple slices on top of the filling beginning on the outer edge and overlap as much or as little as you want keeping in mind that the apple slices will shrink. Continue moving around the tart until you reach the center. For the center, use four or five slices and place on end to create a flourish in the middle (upon baking they will fall flat, but the effect will be a blossom in the middle).
  • Melt the butter on the stove. Using a small brush, brush the apple topping with the melted butter and sprinkle with demerara sugar (or Mae's crumble).
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edge of the apples are quite dark and the rest of the tart is lightly brown. If the crust edges are becoming too dark before the apples become brown, use tin foil to cover and continue to bake until desired color of the apples is reached.
  • Let cool for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the tart pan and serve with a hot cuppa, heavy whipped cream or dulce de leche gelato (Bonata is my favorite).