- Posted March 8, 2013 by
Apple Fine Pie
Long before apple pie became the quintessential American dessert, Europeans have been making all sorts of apple pies and tarts since the Medieval Times. One of the easiest yet most refined of all these delicious apple recipes is the French Apple Tart. This version by Chef Patrick Durand is probably one of the simplest, and perhaps one of the most elegant recipes you’ll find. It starts with basic flaky pastry dough, topped with apple slices and baked in the oven for fifteen minutes. The apples are not seasoned or enhanced with syrup, sugar, spices, or any other ingredient; just plain apples on a crusty pastry to truly savor their natural goodness. It is therefore important to get the best and freshest apples you can find to make this recipe. Pommeau liqueur is poured over the cooked apple tart and lit up for a dramatic presentation and a deep and sensual flavor.
Crisp, sweet, and juicy apples like Golden Delicious are perfect for making French Apple Tart. Other kinds of apple ideal for making apple tarts include Granny Smith, Pippin, Pink Lady, Northern Spy, Gala, Jonagold, York Imperial, and Gravenstein. Some like to combine different varieties of apples in one pie for a wider and nuanced spectrum of flavors and textures. While apples are available all year around and you can make this recipe whether in the cold winter or during the hot summer, they are usually better in the fall when they grow abundantly, and are therefore more affordable and super-fresh.
Pommeau is an alcoholic drink from Normandy in the north of France made with a mixture of apple juice and apple brandy, particularly Calvados. This drink is considered an aperitif and popularly consumed with a variety of desserts. Besides cooking with Pommeau to make apple tart, you can also serve it with the dessert for a lovely after-dinner party.
1 cup flour
8 tablespoons butter
5/8 cup Calvados brandy or Pommel (a mixture of Calvados and cider)
1 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
3 or 4 golden apples
1 cluster of red currants
Start by peeling the apples, take out the seeds, and cut into thin slices.
Put the flour in the mixing bowl. Add the slices of butter. Add sugar and salt then knead together. The pastry will be a little flaky so put it in the refrigerator to cool for a while. Flatten with a rolling pin until thin and roughly round. Place in a baking dish lined with a baking sheet. Arrange the fine apple slices on top of the pastry, slightly overlapping and neatly layered following the round shape of the pastry. Place in a 180 degree F and bake for 15 minutes.
Pour Pommeau in a saucepan. Heat it up a little at low temperature.
Take the tart out of the oven and place on a plate. Put a small branch of red currant in the middle of the tart to decorate. Pour the slightly warm Pommeau over the tart and light it up to flambé.