Fall in New York has lasted a deliriously long time this year. The leaves are still crisp and ranging in color from red to gold. Something about these colors makes you crave warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. With Thanksgiving just one day away, this apple tart is the perfect harvest dessert to celebrate the season. Plus, it’s totally gorgeous.
This is my attempt at Julia Child’s Tarte aux Pommes, and it was quite successful. It’s basically just basic pie crust, home made apple sauce, a layer of thinly sliced apples, and an apricot glaze on top. The pilgrims will forgive you for serving a French dessert at Thanksgiving.
I’m obsessed with my removable bottom tart pan. It is so choice, if you have the means I highly recommend picking one up. It does all the work for you — all you have to do is press the dough in and it will come out with a beautiful crimped edge that you can see all the way around.
Granny Smith apples work well in this recipe because they are so crisp and tart. Half of the cored, peeled apples are roughly chopped and tossed in a pot to make the filling, while the other half is thinly sliced to adorn the top.
The chopped apples cook down until they’re soft and tender. Then the good stuff goes in — sugar, butter, cinnamon and cognac. But I forgot the butter and it didn’t really make a difference. Recipes? We don’t need no stinking recipes.
Oh, did I mention that the only bottle of cognac I have lying around is shaped like a voluptuous woman with a tight red dress, a badonkadonk, and a wide-brimmed hat for a lid? No? Huh, that’s funny. This is what happen when you work for TV shows. You end up with random crap that eventually comes in handy when you need a little cognac for an apple tart. Don’t worry, I poured a little out for my homies.
Mmmmm, apple cinnamon goodness. I could stop here and just eat the home made apple sauce — it’s so chunky and goopy in the best possible way. But baking it into a crust will only make it better.
A layer of thin apples arranged in a pretty swirly pattern makes a beautiful finish. The apricot glaze is super easy — you just have to shmoosh apricot jam through a seive and then cook it with a little bit of sugar. The glaze helps the apples stick together and should give the top a nice golden brown, bubbly finish. That didn’t happen for me though — my apples got kind of soggy. Never fear! I sprinkled on some sugar and popped in my trusty toaster oven (yes, you read that right) and broiled it until the sugar caramelized. Perfection.