Free-Form Apple Tart
Free-Form Apple Tart
Rating: (1 rated)
Recipe Yield: Serves 6 to 8

For the crust (or substitute 1 square store-bought pie dough or puff pastry, thawed in the fridge overnight):
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into very small pieces and chilled
1-3 tablespoons ice water (or as needed)

For the filling:
2-3 large apples (about 1 pound) such as Rome Beauty, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Pippin, Gala, Cortland, or Winesap
2-4 tablespoons brown sugar, depending on sweetness of apples
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

For the glaze:
1/4 cup preserves (apricot for a yellow/orange glaze, or raspberry for a pink glaze)
1 tablespoon water or orange-flavored liqueur such as Cointreau or Triple Sec

To prepare the tart dough, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl until blended thoroughly. Using a pastry blender, metal pastry scraper, two knives, or your fingers, cut or rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. (Work quickly to keep the butter cold.)

Using a fork, stir in the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, adding just enough for the dough to hold together without becoming wet. Gather the dough into a ball and then flatten it into a disk. Wrap the disk of dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Alternatively, mix the crust in a food processor: In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and process, using short pulses, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. With the machine running, add the water through the feed tube, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough begins to form into a ball. Remove the dough from the food processor and flatten into a disk. Wrap the disk of dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

When ready to make the tart, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.

Flour a large wooden cutting board or pastry slab. Roll the dough into a rough 9" x 15" rectangle. (If the dough splits or becomes too soft to work with, transfer the board with the dough to the refrigerator and chill for 5 to 10 minutes.) Carefully transfer the crust to the lined baking sheet.

Form a shallow lip around the crust by folding over the edges on each side of the dough rectangle. If desired, create a decorative edge by pressing all around with the tines of a fork or by crimping the dough between your index finger and thumb to create a fluted edge. The final crust should measure roughly 6" x 12". Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a for

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