With its stylized layers of apples and free standing crust, an apple tart is one of the most impressive things a home baker can bring to the table. It looks so hard to make! With this recipe, it’s not. If you can slice an apple and press dough into a pan, you can wow your friends and family and enjoy a home made apple tart with pride!
We went apple picking last weekend. It was a lovely sunny day with just a hint of coolness in the air. The orchards were pretty crowded but we headed back to where some of the lesser known apples were growing and found ourselves alone in a wonderland of trees heavily laden with Winesaps and Cameos. So of course I picked too many apples and we have been eating apple everything ever since.
The first dish I wanted to make was an apple pie.
It was late by the time we got home. Too late to be making pastry and cooking a pie. Then I remembered a technique for a no-roll pastry that I had been wanting to try.
This is a easy pastry: no butter to cut into flour, no resting time in the refrigerator, and, easiest of all, you don’t roll it, you press it into the tart pan.
Start with the apples. Peel four to five apples. The number will depend on the size of your tart pan and the size of the apples. You are looking for about four cups of thinly sliced apples.
Take your time with this step. Cut the apples thinly in even slices. If you can get this step right you are going to end up with a killer tart that looks like it came from a pastry shop!
Put the apples in a bowl and add some sugar, spices, vanilla and salt. Squeeze some lemon juice on top and then use your hands to carefully toss the apples in the mixture. Be careful not to break the slices but try and make sure each slice is lightly coated.
Set the bowl aside while you make the “pastry”.
Put flour, brown sugar and salt in a bowl and then add melted butter. Use a fork to stir it until it comes together.
Put the dough into a tart pan and use your fingers to press it evenly in the pan, making sure to spread the dough up into the edges.
Drain the apples, reserving the liquid.
Put the apples on top of the pastry in the tin. You can just toss the apples in if you like, or you can take a little extra time to make a decorative arrangement out of them.
Sprinkle the top of the apples with a little sugar and cinnamon. Dot the top with butter and bake it until the crust is browned and the apples cooked.
To finish the tart, you can reduce the apple juices to make a glaze or melt a little jelly (apricot or apple) in and pan and brush it over the apples as it cools.
Once the tart has cooled, carefully remove it from the pan.
You know how easy this is? I had my boyfriend, Rick, make one for a dinner with friends! And here is his:
APPLE TART WITH NO ROLL PASTRY
Apples for the filling
- 4 c peeled and sliced apples
- 1/3 - ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/3 c flour
- ¼ c brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 10 tbsp butter melted
To Assemble the tart
- 1 tbsp sugar mixed with cinnamon
- 2 tbsp butter diced
- ¼ c Apricot or Apple jelly optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
For the Apples
- Peel the apples and slice them thinly and evenly.
- In a large bowl mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the apples, vanilla and lemon juice. Carefully toss the apples in the mixture until the apples are evenly coated.
- Set the bowl aside while you make the pastry.
For the Pastry
- Stir together the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
- Melt the butter and add it to the flour mixture. Use a fork to stir it until it comes together.
- Press the dough evenly into a tart pan making sure to get the dough up the sides.
Assemble the Tart
- Drain the apple slices and reserve the juices.
- Arrange the apple slices in the tart pan. This can be done as a design or just by place the apples in the pan.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the apples and dot with the diced butter.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes until the apples are cooked and the pastry browned.
- If you like, make a glaze by reducing the apple juices until they have thickened or melt ¼ cup apricot or apple jelly over low heat. Brush the glaze over the hot apples.
- Let the tart cool and carefully remove the it from the tart pan.