All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Sunday, June 6, 2010

barefoot contessa's french apple tart

I just love the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks! The pictures are stunning, the recipes are simple, and Ina Garten always sounds so cheerful and friendly I wish she lived next door to me. I found this recipe for a french apple tart in her book Back to Basics, and , of course, had to make it immediately. It's very similar to the tarts I made when I was working in a French restaurant, although I used mostly lard for the dough back then, which is impossible to find around here in the country. And I discovered, thanks to Ina, a new way of preparing apple slices that looks so much better than the usual peel/quarter/slice. You peel, cut through stem end to stem end, and use a melon baller to scoop out the seedy part! Brilliant, and the apples look gorgeous.
Traditionally, I use fresh lemon juice and warmed red currant jelly for brushing on tarts - she uses Calvados and apricot jelly, so it's really up to you. I also use a little more unsalted butter in the tart dough, which, by the way, is delightfully flaky.
Tart Dough:
2 cups King Arthur all purpose flour
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 T. sugar
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water
Place the flour, salt and sugar in food processor bowl (use the steel blade) and pulse a few times. Add the butter and process until the butter is well incorporated. With the motor running, drizzle the ice water into the dough until it forms a soft ball.
Remove, briefly knead, then pat into a rectangle and wrap in plastic. Place in fridge for at least an hour.
For the apples:
a baking sheet fitted with foil or parchment
3 peeled and sliced apples ( see above) I used Macs, she used Granny Smiths.
1/3 cup sugar
3 T. diced cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup warm apricot or red currant jelly to which you have added 2 T. apple brandy or fresh lemon juice.
Preheat oven to 400F
When dough is chilled, place on floured surface and roll out to fit the baking sheet. Trim edges using a sharp knife.
Brush the dough with a little warmed jelly.
Arrange the apple slices in a pretty pattern.
Brush with the rest of the warmed jelly, then sprinkle with sugar and the diced pieces of butter.
Bake for approximately an 45 minutes to an hour, checking the tart to make sure it's not burning. The tart I made had two burned corners, so I just threw them away when I cut the tart into individual pieces.
Cool and cut into squares or rectangles, and enjoy!
What I'm reading:
Recipes from a year ago:
and two years ago:


Martha said...

This is a favorite of ours!!!

Your pictures look stunning!

What I like best about this tart is that it doesn't have that cloying cinnamon clove flavor that apple desserts usually have -- it's fresh and refreshing!

katrina said...

Martha - Thank you - and I went to your blog and there it was: The Barefoot Contessa's french apple tart. Yours looks delicious, too! I guess it proves that good cooks think alike:)

Anonymous said...

I love Ina's cookbooks. Her recipes just work (some I have to adjust for the altitude I live at).
Your tart looks beautiful. I am sure it tasted great.

katrina said...

Thanks, Kirsten! Good to know that about her recipes - we are in the mountains, but nothing like YOUR mountains. There's also something her layout that doesn't intimidate readers; a friend took one look at her book and said, "Oh, thank goodness! That recipe looks easy!"

Barb said...

I'm not sure which is prettier - the tart or that beautiful photo of the yellow lilies - Gorgeous!

I love Ina too. I wish I lived next door to her ('cuz her house on t.v. looks so beautiful) and I would willingly try anything she made - now I'm going to have to give this apple tart a try.

Anonymous said...

Tarts win over pies for me every time, however, your photos and description are provocative enough to send me into the kitchen today! No waiting, no more wanting! Beautiful, Kat!

katrina said...

Hey, Barb!
Those are my lovely lemon lilies, which have naturalized all around this old Cape house I'm in. They are highly (and beautifully) scented and I'm always happy to see them blooming before all the other lilies.
I almost never watch tv, so I've only seen Ina's house once or twice, but wowser - it's a beauty.

Enjoy the tart, and thanks for stopping in!

katrina said...

Oh, Donna - what a sweet message! I like everything: pies, tarts, cake, pudding, and even sometimes cookies, though I just don't eat cookies with the same passion as cakes:)
Can't wait to see what you're up to in the kitchen!

kellypea said...

I wish I had a piece of this for breakfast about now. Lovely. I haven't tried Ina's recipe, but I love all of her recipes. Yes, she'd be a great neighbor (as would you).

katrina said...

Hi Kelly - and another sweet message! Wouldn't it be fun to be next door neighbors? Oh, the trouble we could get into in the kitchen:)
Delighted you liked the tart, and many thanks!

DAFFYCO said...

Oh ! Cette tarte a l'air succulente ! Je vois que vous avez travaillé en France. Dans quelle région ? Bonne journée.