17 September 2012

Rustic Apple Tart

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Sometimes I get so sad about the smallest, most irrelevant things.  A fleeting thought of my future child getting a splinter in their foot could bring me to tears if it hit me at the right moment.  I can easily be blinded by my heart if I don't be careful.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a ridiculously soft spot for anything nostalgic and can be downright stubborn about it.  You don't even want to get me started on the changing scenery of my parent's neighborhood.  Or tortellini... just don't go there.

There is nothing that sparks more nostalgic memories for me than September.  Back to school and my birthday always marked a new year for me and I can vividly remember each and every one.  It wouldn't be fall without a new outfit or two and a plethora of apple and pumpkin related foods. 

So, it's time to cue the apple tart.  I hear it's Apple Fest time in southern Illinois!

Recipe for Rustic Apple Tartadapted from Ina Garten

for the crust
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 sticks), diced and chilled
1/2 cup very cold water

for the apples
about 8 granny smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp butter, diced

In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar.  Pulse a few times to get all of the ingredients blended.  Slowly add butter and pulse until butter is pea sized (about six times).  Finally, add the water gradually while pulsing until dough begins to form.  Remove from processor and kneed into a ball on a floured surface.  Press into disc and wrap with plastic.  Chill for at least one hour.

When dough has chilled, remove from fridge and roll into a rough rectangle with about a half inch thickness.  Prepare a sheet tray with a sheet of parchment paper and butter thoroughly.  Place dough onto prepared pan and put back in fridge until ready to top with apples.

Preheat oven to 400F. Slice the apples into half moons, leaving out the core.  Arrange onto tart dough and sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar and dot randomly with 4 tbsp butter.  Bake for about one hour or until apples begin to brown and edges of pastry are golden.