I think it is fairly well documented here that I am not a fan of baked apples. I think it is actually pretty funny that this tart appealed to me so much then. In fact, my friend Natalie and I were just discussing apple pies the other day and we are both firmly in the ‘wish it was thinner, less filling, more crust and flavor’ camp. It should come as no surprise then that I was thrilled when I finally found a minute to read through this week’s recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie, chosen by Jeanette of The Whimsical Cupcake for the Tourtley Apple Tart… because that is exactly what it is.
A flavorful almond cookie dough serves as the tart crust, which is then filled with a soft, not-too-thick layer of well cooked, caramelized and lightly spiced apples (Jonagold in this case for me). Finally an apple ‘pie’ tart I can get behind. While I’m sure it would be delicious with some ice cream I just ate mine a little warm all by its lonesome and was very delightfully surprised to find that, sometimes, I do like baked apples. Go figure. Leave it to Dorie to teach me that lesson 😉
Going in I wasn’t entirely sure if I was going to be a fan or not and decided to just make two little 4-inch tarts using a single recipe of the tart dough (just to economize on ingredients, even though I already know how much I love that sweet tart dough with nuts!) and a half recipe of the filling. I used the almonds in the crust and the filling, skipped the raisins (no surprise there!), and opted for a little sea salt, cinnamon, fresh nutmeg and an extra splash of vanilla in the apple filling. I also allowed my apples to cook down just a little more because I wanted the texture to be much softer than a regular pie filling and didn’t mind if the apples were pretty well mashed. I also didn’t read the directions as carefully as I should have because I never covered my pan of apples. I just stirred it around on low, which meant that my apples really caramelized quite a bit (which I loved!) but I also had to add almost twice the amount of water to get the right consistency.
The next time I’m called on to make an apple pie for anyone (especially if I’ll be having dessert too) this is the way to go! Be sure to check the Tuesdays with Dorie blog for more versions of the tart – I know that several people were switching out fruits so I’m sure there are a lot of fun ideas out there today!