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.
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.
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
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?