Saturday, May 31, 2008

French Apple Tart

The Altitude Adjustment Section
A good French apple tart must start with great apples. And we can get some good apples around here. I don’t use baking apples alone at this altitude, they never get soft. This combo works.

1 partially baked (it will be baked again) and cooled 11-inch tart shell with removable bottom (I recommend Susan Purdy’s all purpose flaky pastry a recipe which is in the archives)
12 large apples (about 4 pounds) I like to combine Granny Smith and golden delicious
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons orange juice
1/3 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup Calvados (apple brandy)
1/2 cup apricot jelly, which has no bits in it! Or strain the other stuff after heating
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons rum or any liquor of your choice

Peel and thinly slice about 3 cups of apples. Place them in a bowl and toss with lemon juice and sugar. Peel, core, and chop the remaining apples and place them in a saucepan with butter and orange juice. Cook over low heat, covered, for 20 minutes, or until they get mushy. Now stir in the apricot preserves and the Calvados. Raise the heat slightly and cook till the sauce thickens and clings to the spoon. No dripping off. Remove from the heat and cool. Set oven to 375. Now take your crust and spread applesauce over bottom. Cover with neatly arranges apple slices in a concentric circle. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until apples feel fork tender. While tart is baking, prepare glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt apricot jelly, now simply add the unflavored gelatin powder and the liquor of your choice and stir till smooth. After tart has cooled, carefully brush the lukewarm glaze over the apples. Chill to set the glaze, but serve the tart at room temperature. This is not your mom’s apple pie, it's way better!