Recipe: Rustic Apple Tart (or Any Fruit Really)
Need something quick and easy for dessert? For the holidays or year round really? This one is a relatively easy and forgiving too. You can use any fruit. I prefer apples or pears or a combination. I serve it with homemade vanilla ice cream, but you do you. It needs nothing else.
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons whole milk
6.75 oz (1.5 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5.5 oz (11 tablespoons) cold, unsalted butter cut into half-inch cubes
For the Filling:
4 cups, thinly sliced apples or pears
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup toasted, coarsely chopped pecans (optional)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 pinch of salt
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
2 tablespoons demerara sugar
Beat the eggs with the milk in a small bowl. Set aside.
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a 12-cup (or similar) food processor. Pulse a few times to mix.
Add butter and pulse 8-10 times, until the flour is no longer white and the butter is essentially fine pebble-like.
Put the mixture in a large bowl. Add the egg mixture. Using a fork, mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients gently. The dough will still look crumbly and dry.
Gently work the dough with your hands until it comes together and is pliable. Key point: It does not have to be pliable like a pie dough. Let it barely hold it togeher. It is OK.
Transfer the dough on to a plastic film, crumbs and all. Wrap tightly. Pat it down to a flat disk. Refrigerate at least 15-20 minutes (up to 4 days) before rolling it out.
Preheat the oven to 350F (or 325 if using convection). Make sure the rack is in the middle.
Meanwhile, prep the filling: Mix all filling ingredients except the egg and demerara sugar in box.
Remove dough from refrigerator. Let it sit at room temp for 5 minutes.
In between two sheets of 12x16 inch parchment paper (if using smaller then simply overlap multiple sheets), roll the dough out to 13-14 inch diameter. The edges will look crappy - ragged. Totally fine.
Transfer dough (with the bottom parchment sheet intact) on to a baking sheet.
Heap the fruit in the center of the odugh round. Using your fingertips, fold the edges of the dough over some of the fruit to create a rim about 2 inches wide. Work your way around the dough, pleating as well as you can. I mean, look at mine. Not a work of art.
Using a pastry brush, brush the pleated rim with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the demerara sugar on the rim, and all over the fruit. This sugar retains its crunch in heat.
Bake tart until pleats are completely golden brown with a trace of pale, about 55 minutes. Some juices may escape the tart and seep on to the baking sheet.
Transfer to a rack and let cool. Serve warm or room temp.