Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lattice-Topped Apple Pie Tart

I'm sitting here trying to write the story of the photos of an Apple Pie Tart I baked, yet my tired wrung out brain is fighting me tooth and nail.  I've been wandering as of late, my mind that as. My mind has been wandering to far away places, reading more and thinking about the future.  A future that includes a nephew due to arrive shortly and news today that twins are on the way from my other sister-in-law. I've been wandering to all the dark and dusty alley ways still untapped in the crevices of my mind.  I think sometimes in order to find yourself you must get lost, completely and utterly lost.

Funning thing is no matter how lost I get I or how much I fight the path my life is destined to be on, something gently guides me back in the right direction.  I wandered upon  Nick Malgieri's book Bake! and was guided straight to the kitchen where I set about baking his Apple Pie Tart on a leisurely Saturday afternoon.  I lovingly placed the apple bits in the pastry shell, sprinkled it generously with sugar, I placed a photo on Instagram and had my brother, sister-in-law and niece at my door in half an hour.  We ate pie and ice cream for dinner, played games and stayed up late.

Adapted from Nick's recipe.
Flaky Pastry Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon into a dry-measure cup and level off)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon cold water if necessary

In a food processor combine flour, salt, and baking powder and pulse to combine.  If you would like more detailed crust explanation there is one on my Dark Chocolate Cream Pie.

Add pieces of butter and eggs and pulse a few times until starting to combine.  Add the water if the dough isn't coming together enough.

Divide the dough into 1/3 and 2/3 sized pieces onto pieces of plastic wrap, flatten and wrap tightly in the plastic wrap.

Store in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours before rolling out.

Apple Filling
3 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, halved, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" pieces

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out the bigger piece of dough on a floured surface and place the crust into an 11" tart pan with a removable bottom.  Use your fingers to make sure it gets into the sides and edges of the pan.  Cut off any excess from the top.

Put the apples in a large bowl.  In a small bowl mix the sugars, flour, and cinnamon.  Scatter 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture onto the bottom of the tart crust.  Pour the rest over the apples and use a large spatula to mix together.

Scrape the filling into the prepared crust and redistribute the apple pieces so that the top of the filling is level rather than domed.  You really have to work those apples in with your fingers, but they should all fit.  Dot the filling with small pieces of butter.

Roll out the other 1/3 of the crust into a rectangle on a floured surface until it's about a 1/4" thick.  I had to go a little thinner, because I didn't have as much dough to work with.

Use a pizza wheel or serrated pastry wheel to cut dough into 1/2" wide strips.  Place 4 or 5 strips an 1" apart or so going in one direction and then the same amount, going the other.  I just pushed the edges down to the edge of the crust with my finger and cut off any extra.

Brush the top of the crust with a little water and sprinkle with the two tablespoons of sugar.

Place the tart pan on a baking sheet so it won't leak in the oven.

Bake for 45-55 minutes.

I've been fighting who I am as of late, rebelling if you will, and balking at the path I'm supposed to be on. It's funny though the harder I fight it, the more it seems futile.  This pie pulled me right back into a warm, comfy, familiar place, one that I have been many times and one that I want to visit many more times to come.  Matter of fact, I'm not sure if I can ever look at a traditional apple pie again and want it in the same way I used to.  This tart version was need I say, gasp, pretty impressive.

Maybe I can bake my way back and things will fall back into place, it's worth a shot anyways.

Do any of you have a way of finding your way back when you are lost?



  1. Gina, this is one BEAUTIFULLY woven apple pie! Love the lattice very pretty. Pies and ice cream for I am totally lost...what have I been cooking for the dinner? I need to pamper myself with some of sweet treats too!

  2. Great looking pie! Really gorgeous. I love apple season! Re finding your way back, etc,unless I'm on a definitely wrong path, continuing to push that rock uphill eventually gets me to where I'm going. The fun part is when I decide I'm on the wrong path altogether and need another one. It's fun to let go of that rock and watch it tumble down the hill.

  3. Beautiful apple pie Gina, love the look of the woven top, love seeing the apples!
    I love it when baking is relaxing and everything comes for being on the right path when you're lost, that could just get worse, maybe try to find a forest ranger and ask for directions!?

  4. Gina,
    Your pie tart is gorgeous, and bursting with apple flavor. I love all things appple:)

    Baking has been my therapy for many years now, a place in the kitchen where you can "loose" yourself in a different way, not getting lost. Baking lets you shut out the rest of the world, hopefully, and focus at the task at hand. Hopefully can be therapeutic for you, too. Try and remember to go one day at a time. It's so trite, but it helps, if you can do it.

    Have a great rest of the week

  5. Aww, lady friend, I'm sorry that your path is muddled and cloudy. All I can tell you is that I'm grounded in the Bible and am never truly lost. Even when I think things are dark and hopeless, God provides that pinpoint of light I need to help me.

    However, apple pie tart never hurts either. Plus, after coveting your perfect lattice, I need to go apologize to God now. Thanks ever so much. :)

  6. I adore Trite Becky! I agree Christiane, will just need to look harder.

  7. It may take some time but you will find the light again my dear friend - there is no doubt in my mind that you have the ability to find yourself perfectly :D
    Personally I am lost in your gorgeous pie and kind of font want to find my way out ;)

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. Oh Gina, that pie-tart looks wonderful! I have an awful time with pie crusts, but I may just have to try again with this recipe.

  9. If you'd ask my kids, they'd say I'm STILL lost :/ I've made Nick's apple pie from Baked numerous times, but next up will be this stunning tart. I am all about apple desserts in the fall...and this one is a winner!!

  10. Lovely job with the crust. Almost a shame to cut into it. ;)

  11. "Funning thing is no matter how lost I get I or how much I fight the path my life is destined to be on, something gently guides me back in the right direction."

    Gina, I love this quote from you, but just wondering if you've come up with a new word, or is it just a typo error!
    That something which guides you back in the right direction, is also telling you that you're on the right track. Just keep up the good work. Baking is such a wonderful therapy, and your apple pie tart is magnificent. I should pull out my Nick Malgieri 'Bake' book, but then...I'll just pass it on to Lora to bake...ha,ha!

  12. Stunning tart, Gina! Whatever it is that is guiding you into the kitchen knows you mean business and have a real purpose in there. Hope you are enjoying the weekend!

  13. Hi Gina,

    I can't admiring your beautiful apple tart and I reckon I would be "lost" eating a slice of this :p

    It is strange that I find it quite difficult to define in "lost" in my way. I can feel "lost" for all sort of reasons but can live on for being what I am. I guess that I have been a completely lost state yet :D


  14. I love the classic apple pies/tarts and you have beautiful lattice on top! I'm lost all the time not sure what I'm doing. Cooking and being busy with kids definitely help distract me from those thoughts. You ate apple tart and ice cream for dinner? I'd love to do that when kids are not around. Hehee. Have a nice Monday!

  15. Lost and found. It's such a process. Such a journey. I find that food helps the journey - food gives me sign posts. This autumn delight is such a one. It nourishes - all.

  16. Love the classic lattice topped pies. I guess I am lazy so I tend to think of other ways to make my pies. Hehehe.. I can imagine serving this gorgeous Apple Pie with Ice-Cream too. Okay I am off to my drawing board to think of what to cook or bake this over this weekend. Till then, have a wonderful week. Huggs, Jo

  17. Even though I'm not very good at baking, I find it to be a very serene activity. Your pie (tart) is perfect Gina! How ever you get there I hope you find your way back to where you want to be. Nothing but all my best to you. xx