Today is my daughter’s birthday and this is the tart she has asked for. Which should be all the information you need before running to the kitchen to make it, because when it comes to tarts, Esther is the pickiest family member.
This is how it went:
I made the tart about a month ago, intending to share it here. But before it finished baking, there was no daylight left and thus no way to photograph it (and of course the tart did not last till the next day). When I complained about it, Esther said (using the maddeningly soothing tone people employ when reasoning with 5 years olds): ‘I don’t think anybody will mind if you make it again, mom.’
So I made it again. And again it was eaten in record time. And Esther said ‘could you please make it for my birthday’. Of course, I could – one of the advantages of this tart is that it’s way easier to make than your average birthday cake.
It is brilliantly simple, relying on few ingredients: buttery crust, prettily arranged slices of apples and a basting sauce of butter and maple syrup. The sauce, by the way, tastes like butterscotch sauce, only better, because, you know, maple syrup! Together with the apple juices it cooks into a delicious base.
My only problem with this tart is that maple syrup is very expensive where I live. Hopefully, it is not so where you live. Maybe we could plant some maples in our new garden? And then make our own syrup in about ten years…Well, at least we will be growing tons of apples by then.
The design for our plot is almost ready (about time!) and I hope to share it this week, so stay tuned!
Apple maple tart
From ‘The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook’
The dough can be made by hand, too, if you prefer. The food-processor method is quicker, but I find that if I make the dough by hand, it is flakier.
190 g (1 ¼ cup) all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
100 g (7 tablespoons) cold butter cut into pieces
4 medium apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced
40 g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter
120 ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup
Make the dough:
Put flour and salt in the bowl of the foodprocessor and pulse 5 times. Add the butter and pulse 10 times – there should be some pea-sized pieces of butter left.
Sprinkle 3 ½ tablespoons of cold water over the flour mixture and pulse again, 5 to 10 times, until the dough starts to clump together. If it does not, add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of water.
Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and roll out into a circle of about 28 cm (11 inch). Line a 24 cm (9 inch) fluted tart pan with dough and cut off the excess dough. ( I had a little dough left and used it to make two mini tarts.) Place the tart pan in a fridge and chill for at least an hour. Or leave overnight, if that is convenient.
When you’re ready to bake the tart, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F).
Arrange the apples prettily in the tart shell (you will likely have a few pieces left). To make the basting sauce, melt the butter in a small sauce pan over low heat, then add the maple syrup. Simmer, stirring, until it starts to thicken, about 4 minutes.
Drizzle half of the sauce over the apples and place the tart in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, then drizzle the rest of the sauce over the apples and continue baking for another 40 – 50 minutes, until the apples are softened and browned. Serve warm.