Wednesday, July 20, 2011

French Apple Tart

It's my birthday. Shh. I don't actually usually tell people that. Not because I'm one of those women with an "age thing". The number of my age doesn't bother me. The wrinkle and sag of my age does, but that's something I can't hide. So. I'm telling you it's my birthday because you'll need to know that I'm not, as it turns out, making my own birthday cake. not on my side these days. But, I do have a fantastic husband who promised me a selection of cupcakes from The Sweet Tooth Fairy. That'll do.

I was going to make a Coconut Cream Pie this week. Truth is, I was going to make a French Silk Pie, a French Apple Tart, and a Coconut Cream Pie. But I succeeded only in the first two. My stomach/brain had other plans for me on Sunday. Coconut Cream Pie next time.

Here's the recipe I used for the French Apple Tart (you already have my recipe for French Silk Pie). It's from Baking with Julia, a series I loved watching and a book I love to use for recipes. This recipe is by Leslie Mackie. I used my own pie crust recipe, but tried to make it vegetarian, since I was taking the dessert to a party.

Bad idea. Lard is my friend. Lard is your friend. Embrace it, even if you're a veg. Seriously, even if you eat as many pies as I do each year (which you don't), you'd end up eating over the course of the year probably less than 1 cup of lard. That will not kill you! I promise. I might never make a vegetarian pie crust again. It's just so hard to work with. Blugh. It all turned out okay, but caused me no end of grief.

Anyway, I like this tart. It's not earth-moving, but it's yummy. I used quite a bit of lemon juice in it because I really dislike how apple desserts can so easily be overly sweet.

I think I found a good balance with this. It's pretty. It's yummy. With an easier to manage crust, it would be a super simple tart. Except for this one small (and weird) thing: I had to bake the tart at least twice (probably closer to 3 times) as long as the recipe says in order for my apples to turn dark brown.

Trust, I checked my oven temperature. It was just getting nowhere. And I had sliced my apples thin enough that I really thought they'd brown in no time. Maybe that was the problem? Maybe they were too thin? Next time, I might try a hotter oven. Or maybe not place the tart pan on another pan--I didn't experience any dripping anyway, so I don't really understand the point of that.

TGIP Rating--French Apple Tart--Yummy but had some mysterious baking problems. Still trying to decide whether or not I like this better than a good, old-fashioned apple pie...

Next up: Coconut Cream Pie. For real this time. Still planning to try a little something different with my pie crust. Still using lard. Let's not get too crazy now.


Pat Catherall said...

Have I ever seen a French Apple Tart that had brown apples? I am thinking they don't brown...and don't need to brown. Unless you want the caramelized look.

April Fossen said...

That was the idea of the recipe. And the pictures in the book are (of course) beautiful with browned edges on the apples.

Anonymous said...

Did you take altitude into consideration? It's something that causes me to alter the baking time in my recipes. Check out this link:

April Fossen said...

Yeah, I deal with that when I'm working on cakes, but pies? I've never had a problem with baking time for pies or tarts. This was odd.