Friday, 3 April 2015

French Apple Tart

French Apple Tart

An apple pie without the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze  -Park Benjamin, Sr. 

Taken from a rhyme in England in the 1750's this proverb was printed in Park Benjamin's Evening Tattler Newspaper in New York City.  Hartford Connecticut and Boston is where he was educated and first worked as a lawyer but instead moved on to becoming a publisher. This phrase has since caught on universally.  


Contrary to the name this apple tart was created by the Dutch a long time ago. It is the addition of cream cheese and icing sugar to this pie that makes it lean toward the French cuisine. 


The variations are endless, but I cannot begin to emphasize how amazingly divine this particular recipe is, for the lover of apple pies. It is relatively quick to put together. The different parts can be prepared ahead but assembly and baking must be freshly done. It can be served with cream or a dollop of ice cream. Caramel and Vanilla being the best choices.


You may read more about The French In My Food an article  published in Huffington Post.





Cream cheese topped apple tart.


Freshly baked, the aromas are simply amazing.


The pastry of this tart is softly firm!


Pastry

This will fit a 9 or a 10 inch pie plate which is 22 to 25 cms in diameter.

In a food processor using the pulse button mix until it forms a soft ball leaving the side of the bowl.

Do not over beat. Remove on a flat surface and bring it together with your hands.

2 1/2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt
200 grams/ 7 1/2 oz salted butter
100 grams / 3 1/2 oz icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Let this stand for 20 to 30 minutes. Roll out 2/3 rd of the dough and fit it into a pie plate. Bake this for 15 minutes on 350F/180C degrees. It should be slightly golden in colour and should be under baked.

Leave to cool.

Filling

4 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (approximately 1 kg/2.2 lb)
Sprinkle them all over with lemon juice ; 1 large lemon
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly scraped nutmeg
2 tbsp golden syrup
Mix well with a spoon

50 gms/2oz cream cheese


Toss it well and fill the empty pie crust with all of the filling; top with dollops of the cream cheese all over.


Roll out the remaining 1/3 rd dough, cut into long strips and make a lattice all over. Brush each of these with some milk or an egg wash to glaze.

Bake the pie for 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Tips

Use tart and firm crisp apples like granny smith for a great result. 
Any favourite sweet cream cheese will be delicious, even the commonly found triangle ones available in the super market. If you prefer substitute goat cheese, brie, camembert, softer cheddars, any of your favourites will be perfect.
The filling will have a lot of liquid once you slice and top with sugar and lemon juice. The flour should thicken the gravy while cooking it. 
Using fresh spices adds to the depth of this delicious tart.
Serving my salted caramel ice cream or Vanilla bean ice cream is perfect. 



For more delicious recipes click on 

Niloufer's Kitchen: French Bistro  


Photo credit Sheriar Hirjikaka

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