French Apple Tart (Cook’s Illustrated)

At the Friday potluck, we invited friends over for dinner the next night, and I half-jokingly said that I would make another dessert for them. Of course, I take dessert very seriously and decided to make the apple tart from the Nov/Dec 2014 issue of Cook’s Illustrated.

I’ve made this type of tart before and remember it being excellent. The combination of an applesauce base and roasted apples on top, with a simple crust supporting the whole thing satisfied my desire for a dessert that would really feature the fruit.

French Apple Tart

First, I took McIntosh apples and turned them into applesauce. I not only felt that it would be an acceptable substitute, but wanted to use the last of the farm-picked ones anyway. To add depth to the sauce, the recipe also includes some apricot preserves (I could only find jam in the supermarket), butter and a pinch of salt.

Making the crust was easy, as CI recommended just melting the butter, making a dough that resembled Play-Doh and just patting it into the tin. While this was certainly easy to make, it didn’t bake up that uniformly, but had patches and bumps here and there.

Partially cooking the apples for the topping was also straightforward, and the key here is to avoid overcooking them, as they get roasted for an additional half hour after assembly. Our tart got a little too caramelized, and you really do need to check constantly when using a broiler, as things can go from attractive to burnt in seconds.

French Apple Tart

Overall, I loved the crisp, buttery crust and the double apple filling. Four adults and two children nearly finished the whole tart. The leftovers slices didn’t fare well the next day: the moisture from the applesauce turned the crust mushy.

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