My life is full of apple memories.
I remember watching mesmerized as my granddad, equipped with his trusty pocket knife, cut artful, seamless spirals of apple peel sitting in his chair...
My father taking huge cheek bulging half-apple bites out of his Saturday yard work snack apple...
Eating the oddly confusing pear-apples (looks like an apple - textured like a pear - tastes like nothing) that grew in my grandfather's unattended orchard...
Busting my lip during my one and only apple bob...
My first fresh squeezed apple cider at some mountain festival as a child...
Some kid from grammar school blowing half-chewed apple in my face... I still don't remember why...
Endlessly feeding green apples to a mule...
It's no surprise I gravitate to the local apple barns and decorative displays at the market. The other week out shopping with Jane, I'm always trying to keep some type of fresh fruit in the house. I - in hopes that I can get her to eat it with a bit more frequency, while She - wants something that looks nice in the fruit bowl.
"How about one of those bags of mixed fruit?"Closer inspection - 12 apples; 3 oranges - Jane's not fond of apples...
"You know you'll eventually have to eat them."Ten days later... it's 12 apples and 3 oranges in the bowl....
"Oh, you can cook something for your blog with them."
This past Sunday, we had Ed and his family over for the Paella Gluttony Fest. And, while it was enticing to allow them to gorge on nothing but big, sexy pans of rice, I at least needed to make something light for dessert. I came across Chef Philippe Jourdin's Apple Tart with Almond Cream recently. While that seemed perfectly jaw-dropping to me, Ed has a problem with Almonds. I decided to swap out the almond flour with rice flour to fix that nagging little problem - but the filling needed something else to round out the flavors a bit (rice flour is rather...um.. one-noted... simple... bland.) I thought adding the pureed jewels to the mix would give the tart something of a Dutch Apple ~ Shoo Fly feel.
It worked fab!
Apple Tart with Currant Cream
Serves 6 to 8
For the Tart:
1 Sheet of Readi-Made Puff Pastry
5 Medium Apples - Peeled and Cored
8 Ounces Butter (or substitute) Melted
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Fresh Grated Nutmeg
1 Recipe Currant Cream - Follows
Non-Stick Baking Pan
For the Currant Cream:
3/4 Cup Currants
1/2 Cup Rice Flour
5 Ounces Butter (or Substitute) Cut Into Cubes
3 Egg Yolks
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Paste, or Extract
1/8 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Large Bowl Food Processor
- Preheat the oven to 425
To make the Cream:
- Place the currants and flour in the processor and pulse until the currants are completely broken down and begin to form a ball
- Add the remaining cream ingredients and pulse until smooth - be sure to stop and scrape down the sides occasionally to make sure everything is well mixed.
- Set aside
For the Tart
- Remove the top and bottoms of the apples so that you are only working with fairly consistent sized apples
- Cut the apples across the fruit into very thin slices
- Roll out the pastry onto the baking sheet and tug it slightly to square it up
- Pour all the currant cream onto the dough and spread it evenly across the surface - covering all but 1/2" around the edges
- Layer the apple slices over the tart in tightly overlapping rows
- Alternate the direction with the next row and again, until the entire top of the tart is covered
- Drizzle all of the melted butter over the top of the prepared tart and dust the top with the 1/2 Cup of sugar
- Sprinkle the tart with the nutmeg
- Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. You may have to rotate the tart half-way through the baking, depending on your oven
Carefully transfer the tart to a serving platter,
and either serve unadorned or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.