Apple and Almond Tart
In this cunning variation on the caramelized apple tart, the pastry crust is layered with almond cream and topped with apple pieces cooked in a creamy caramel sauce. Caramelized apples for grown-ups!
- Caramelized Apples
- Fuji or black Jonathan apples - 8
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Granulated Sugar - 1 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup
- Cognac - Cognac
- Pate Brisee
- Unbleached All-purpose flour - 2 cups
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Cold Unsalted butter - 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Ice Water - about 1/2 cup
- Frangipane (Almond Cream)
- Almond paste - 1/3 cup (3 ounces)
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 1 tablespoon, sifted
- Grated Lemon Zest - 1/2 teaspoon
- Unsalted Butter - 3 tablespoons, at room temperature
- Egg - 1, beaten
- Flour - 1-1/2 tablespoons
- Granulated Sugar - 2 tablespoons
To make the caramelized apples: Peel and core the apples and cut them in halves or quarters, depending on the size. Place a large saute pan or skillet with at least 3 inch sides over medium-high heat. Add the apples, butter, and sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar and butter mixture begins to smoke and turns a reddish-golden color. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cream, then the Cognac. Return to the heat and continue to cook until the caramel is thick and syrupy and the apples are tender. If the caramel reduces before the apples are tender, add a small amount of water.
To make the pate brisee: Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a 10- to 12-inch deep-sided pizza pan or tart pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and process until only small bits of butter remain. (It should not look like cornmeal.) With the machine running, gradually add enough water to make a soft but not wet dough. Or, to make the dough by hand, combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until only small bits of butter remain. Stir in enough water to make a soft but not wet dough.
Transfer the dough to a floured pastry board and roll out 1/4-inch thick. Place the dough in the prepared pan and fold the excess dough over to build up the edges. Crimp the edges. Bake until browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, but leave the oven on.
To make the frangipane: In a medium bowl, blend together the almond paste, confectioner’s sugar, and lemon zest. Add the butter and continue to stir until light and creamy. Mix the egg into the paste, then stir in the flour.
To assemble the tart and serve: Spread the frangipane over the bottom of the baked crust.. Sprinkle the edge of the crust with granulated sugar and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and attractively arrange the apple halves or quarters, cut-side down, on top. Spoon the caramel sauce over the apples. Cut into wedges to serveand rosemary sprigs