There’s something intimidating about pastry. It’s hard to roll out perfect circles or to put it into pie pans without it cracking.
Plus, there are too many people online who are true artists with dough, and that is extremely intimidating when I start hunting for new recipes.
The recipe I tried this week, though, is meant to look a little rough around the edges, and I managed to create something that looked delicious without worrying at all about getting fancy with my crust.
This recipe’s author is Jenn Segal. She used to work as a professional chef and has a cookbook, “Once Upon a Chef.” You can find this on her blog by the same name at https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/rustic-french-apple-tart.html. I doubled the vanilla and cinnamon in my version.
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Rustic Apple Tart
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup cold water
4 cups peeled baking apples, cut into 1/8-inch slices (I used honeycrisp)
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 rounded teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon salt
About 1 tablespoon flour
1 egg, beaten
About 1 tablespoons sugar (turbinado or regular)
1 tablespoon apricot jelly
For the crust, pulse the flour, salt and sugar together a couple times in a food processor to combine them. Cube the butter and add it to the food processor and process until it’s about pea size. Add the water and pulse a few times until it’s just combined. (The dough will look very crumbly, but it’ll come together.)
Dump the dough mixture onto a floured counter and knead it until it comes together smoothly, adding more flour as necessary. Form it into a disk. Roll it out into about a 10-inch circle on the floured surface and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet with a rim.
Put it in the refrigerator while you peel and prep the apple mixture. Place the apple slices, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, butter and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine.
Remove the dough from the fridge and slide the parchment onto the counter. Roll it out to about 18 inches and about 1/8-inch thick, and slide it back onto the pan (it won’t fit very well, but that’s no worry).
Sprinkle about a tablespoon of flour onto the dough and then place the apples in concentric circles, overlapping them as you go. Leave about two inches around the edge of the circle.
Fold the sides of the dough toward the center of the tart. It’ll create a two-inch rim around it and an opening in the middle. Pinch it together at the seams so it’ll stay put. Brush the dough with the beaten egg and then sprinkle the whole tart with the sugar.
Bake for about an hour or until the apples are soft and the crust is a golden brown.
Transfer the tart to a rack and let it cool. Combine the apricot jelly with 1-1/2 teaspoons water in a small bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds. Stir and brush onto the tart.
Cut into slices and serve warm.
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Our whole house smelled amazing while this tart was baking, and I was so proud of myself when it came out of the oven. It looked fantastic.
I’ll have to keep this one in my recipe box for any time I want to impress guests with a “fancy” dessert but don’t want to stress over making one.
I suppose if someone thinks it looks a little too unpolished, I’ll remind them that the word “rustic” is right there in the recipe title, so I clearly did everything right.
Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.