This fabulous apple almond tart recipe walked into my life recently a la All Recipes and has become a new favorite. I love it’s rustic appearance and understated sweetness. In a sea of decadent holiday desserts, this one won my heart with it’s restraint.
You could use any combination of good cooking apples, although I used half Granny Smith and half Honey Crisp. The color variation looked cool once assembled, but you really can’t see it once baked. Notice I left the skins on for simplicity.
In addition to modifying the recipe for the filling, I opted to use the tart dough recipe from Alice Water’s book The Art of Simple Food. If you haven’t read it, add it to your holiday gift list. It is equal parts cooking lessons as it is a recipe book. Although I fancy myself a good home cook/baker, my skills have improved by leaps and bounds with the well worn pages of this book.
Pastry Dough (from Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food)
- Mix 2 cups all purpose flour with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Using a pastry knife, cut in 12 T of cold butter so there are still some large, irregular pieces. It’s important that the butter is cold. She explains more about that in the book, so for now just take my word for it.
- Pour in almost 1/2 cup ice-cold water and fluffy with a fork to combine until it just starts to come together in a clump. Add more if needed, a little at a time.
- Roll into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, flatten into a disk and pop in the fridge to keep it cool.
Apple Almond Tart
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 T brandy
- 1 cup almonds, ground
- 2 T flour
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 4 apples, cored and cut into thick slices
- 1 tsp white sugar
- Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about five minutes. Mix in egg. Then add brandy and almond extract. Add ground almonds and flour until combined. Set aside
- Remove pastry dough from fridge and roll out to 1/8″ thickness. Line pie pan and prick the dough all over. Cover and return to fridge to chill.
- Preheat over to 400 degrees placing baking sheet in oven while it preheats.
- Spoon almond mixture into pie dough, spreading evenly. Starting at the outside, arrange apple slices in a spiral pattern so one side touches the almond mixture. The apples will overlap each other slightly.
- Place tart in over on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle 1 tsp sugar over the tart and bake 10 more minutes. Cool on wire rack.
We served the tart with some freshly whipped cream – the real stuff, not that junk from a spray can. The addition of the brandy and almond extract elevated the dessert. With all the sugar-overload dishes during the holidays, try to make a place for this subtle, rustic dessert at your table.