Yo folks! Bakertan will be doing a French Apple Tart (Tarte Aux Pommes) today. First of all, we need to prepare the tart base. The tart base we will be using is known as Pâte Brisée ( paht bree-ZAY ), the french version of an unsweetened shortcrust pastry, according to Maxine Clark. Pâte Brisée is a rather versatile tart base and it yields a rich, crumbly flaky texture.
Now, we need to sift the flour onto a clean work surface. Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt evenly over the flour. Make sure both your hands are clean, folks. Use the knuckles of one hand and make a well in the centre of the flour.
Dice some butter and soften it at room temperature. Add the diced butter to the well together with an egg yolk.
Use all 5 fingers of one hand and 'peck' the butter and egg yolk. You will want them to end up looking like scrambled eggs.
Ok, now that one of your hand is greasy, you have the other hand free to use. Grab a palette knife with the other hand and start turning the surrounding flour over the butter yolk mixture. Chop through the mixture like you are chopping nuts. Sprinkle iced water over the mixure. Repeat the chopping action and turning of flour until all the flour is combined with the butter mixture. You can see that the end result is some coarse and fine flour-coated butter crumbs.
Folks, we need to bring all the crumbs together to form a dough. So, gently gather the crumbs. Knead them gently so that they come together into a ball. Make sure that you do not overknead the dough. We do not want the dough to be well kneaded and everything is evenly distributed. This is not cake making ~ Once done, flatten the ball slightly and wrap it up with clingfilm. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at at least 30 minutes.
So, once the dough is chilled, we can work on it again. Remove the clingfilm and let the chilled dough soften a while at room temperature. Meanwhile, we need to dust a clean work surface and a rolling pin with a little flour. This will prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the work surface. Roll out the dough evenly using the rolling pin. Dust the rolling pin every now and then to prevent dough from sticking.
How do we know when to stop rolling? Place the tart tin onto the rolled out dough. The rolled dough should be larger than the size of the tart tin. We want to have excess dough so that we can cover up the sides of the tin.
Next, remove the tart tin and place the rolling pin onto the rolled out dough. Slowly lift up the dough from one end and wrap it around the rolling pin lightly. You have to do this slowly so as to prevent tearing the dough. Remember not to roll the dough tightly onto the pin or else it will stick together. That will spell trouble, oops!...
Once done, place the wrapped dough onto the tart tin. Starting from one end of the tart tin, slowly unwrapped the tart dough until the tart tin is covered. Press the dough down to fit the tart tin, ensuring that the dough adheres to the base and the sides well.
There will be excess dough over-hanging from the sides. How do we deal with that? We need a sharp knife. A small one will do. I am using a paring knife here. Simply run the knife through the sides to cut off the excess dough. Nevermind if the tart tin is not fully lined. We can do some patching up.
Use the excess dough a little at a time and patch up the bald areas. Tada! We have a nicely lined up tart base now. Thats all for preparing a tart base and lining a tart tin. Return the tart base to the refrigerator for another 15 minutes. We still have to prepare the apple fillings.... Wrap up the remaining dough with clingfilm and use it to make a small tart.
To prepare the apple filling, core and peel 4 or 5 baking apples. Golden Delicious or Granny Smith will be good choices. Slice the apples thinly and arrange them nicely on the chilled tart base in nice concentric circles, starting with the outer circle and followed by the inner circle. Arrange smaller pieces of sliced apples in the middle. Sprinkle sugar evenly and place cubed butter all over the apples. Place tart tin on top of a baking pan and bake the apple tart at 200 degrees C for an hour until the apples are nicely browned. We are not done yet... Warm some apricot jam in a saucer over low heat and spread it over the apple tart to give it a glossy look and added flavour. Voila! We now have a nice French Apple Tart.
Thats all for today, folks. Stay tuned to Baking with Bakertan. Cheers and have a nice day~
Ok back to how I usually blog. I thought I would deviate from my norm since I do not have anything interesting to write. So I was thinking: "Hey, why not 'host' a baking demonstation here"? That should break the monotony.
After using up some of my Golden Delicious Apples for my previous apple-upside down cake, I had some leftovers and was planning to use them soon. Youfei's post on her apple tart movtivated me to do a French Apple Tart. There should be no more Golden Delicious apples by now. No, not really. I just caught hold of a new bag of Golden Delicious, without any hesitation! That means.. More baking with apples! It takes a bit of luck to find it these days, so I am not going to take any chances by passing up the opportunity...
Two weeks ago, a visitor to my blog emailed me. I was delighted to know that we live really near each other, just five minutes walk away. She managed to find me here, all thanks to Edith's blog. I met up with her this evening and passed her some of my freshly baked French Apple Tarts. Really look forward to more baking exchanges and sessions with my newly found friend...
French Apple Tart ( Tarte Aux Pommes) (Recipe adapted from Tarts: Sweet and Savoury by Maxine Clark)
Serving size: 8 to 10 slices
Texture: Buttery flaky and crumbly tart crust. Apple filling is sweet and moderately firm, not mushy with lended flavour and sweetness from apricot jam.
Equipment and Materials:
1) 24 or 25 cm tart tin with removable base
2) Rolling pin
3) Flour sieve
4) Measuring spoon set
6) Baking tray
7) Palette knife
8) Wire rack
220g plain flour
a generous pinch of salt
110g unsalted butter, diced and softened at room temperature
15g egg yolk (I used a 55g egg)
3 tbs water
Making the Pâte Brisée:
Follow instructions as mentioned above.
4 or 5 baking apples, peeled and cored, about 400g of sliced apples (I used Golden Delicious)
2 tbs caster sugar (I used raw sugar)
40g unsalted butter, diced
2-3 tbs apricot jam, warmed (I used IXL apricot jam. St Dalfour's Peach Jam would be a good choice too)
Making apple filling:
Follow instructions as mentioned above.
1) Do not be tempted to add more apricot jam. The sweetness will steal the focus from the apples.