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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.


For Dough:

  • 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.

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