Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sour Cream Apple Tart with Walnut Crumble

Listening: Gretchen Parlato: Live in NYC*

If you are a reader of these dispatches sent out over the world wild web, you might know of our weekly pie night which gives us a chance to connect with friends and relax over pie.
My wife, the red-haired food co-pilot, recently took on a new position which has had her working crazy hours; we still reconnect over dinner, whatever time that might be, but we’ve had to skip a few pie nights. This week she had an obligation so pie night went on the road. She needed “something” for a reception, so as the ace up her sleeve I settled on this.
Much of the prep- the pate sablee, the assembly of the tart shell, the walnut crumble, even the precooking of the apples can be done in advance leaving only the final assembly and baking.
I used some Macoun apples I picked up at the last day of one of our farmers markets and mixed them with some Fuji apples. Use whichever apple you like.

Sour Cream Apple Tart with Walnut Crumble
You will need one recipe of pate sablee for a 10” tart

For one 10" tart:      
1 ¾ pounds apples, peeled and cut into ½” slices
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 cup (fresh) apple cider
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2  Grade A large Eggs

1. Place the apple slices into a bowl, add the sugar and mix; set aside.
2. Place a sauté pan large enough to hold the apple slices onto the stove. Pour the apple cider into the
pan, turn the heat to medium-high and bring the cider to a simmer. When the cider is hot, add the apple slices to the pan. Poach the apples until they are just tender; the point of a knife should just pierce the flesh of the apple. Remove the pan from the heat, drain the apples and set them aside to cool.
3. While the apples are cooling, roll out the pate sablee to 1/8th inch thickness and fit it into a 10” tart pan. Using a fork, lightly prick the bottom of the tart. Refrigerate or freeze the tart until ready to bake.
4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the tart shell from the refrigerator or freezer. Fit a piece of aluminum foil into the pan to cover the dough. Fill the foil with dry beans, rice or pie weights. Place the tart pan onto a baking tray and bake the tart shell for 15 minutes; after 15 minutes remove the tart from the oven; remove the foil with the beans/rice/pie weights and return the tart shell to the oven to bake for another 5 minutes. Remove the partially baked tart shell from the oven; set aside and let cool.
5. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, place the sour cream, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Whisk together until smooth; set aside. Layer the apples into the tart pan. Pour the sour cream custard over the apples; use a spatula to spread the custard over the apples. Lightly sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top of the tart. Place the tart into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until the custard is set. Remove tart from oven. When the tart is cool, send it off with your wife. Wait for her to return with your reward of some leftover Nanaimo bars. That’s fair enough.

Walnut Crumble
This recipe makes more crumble than you will need. It’s really a light sprinkle of crumb over the sour cream not meant to cover the tart entirely. You can freeze the leftover crumb mixture and use it for another tart.
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

1. Place all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, mix them together. Add the butter and mix until small crumbs form. (This can also be done by hand). Remove and use. Leftover can be stored in a sealable plastic bag.

* Last fall my wife and I along with two friends were lucky to catch Gretchen Parlato at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. At that time, she was touring so extensively I wondered when she would find time to record her next album. It turned out that a live recording was planned for the upcoming weeks, now released and titled “Live in NYC.” 


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