A Delicious Apple Tart for Daniella

CEO Tam DT
Have you ever received a tempting image of a mouthwatering apple tart from a friend? Well, that's exactly what happened to me when my dear friend Daniella jokingly sent me a picture of a fancy...

Have you ever received a tempting image of a mouthwatering apple tart from a friend? Well, that's exactly what happened to me when my dear friend Daniella jokingly sent me a picture of a fancy apple tart with a note saying, "Please make this for me". Little did she know that I would take her request to heart.

Fast forward two months later, I found myself in Washington D.C., where Daniella now resides. As I landed, she welcomed me with snacks and a basket of Gold Rush apples - a unique variety that combines the flavors of Golden Delicious apples with a hint of sourness. These apples are exclusive to a local farmer's market that changes its location every other day, making them even more special.

With two of Daniella's Gold Rush apples and some Granny Smith apples, I embarked on creating the apple tart she had requested. I also used some red Royal Gala apples to add a decorative touch. The result was a stunning tart inspired by the renowned pastry chef Cédric Grolet.

Now, baking in an unfamiliar kitchen can be quite a challenge, especially when abroad. Fortunately, my friends Sharon and Yonathan graciously offered me their kitchen for a day, making my task easier. Yonathan even went above and beyond, cleaning up most of the mess and preparing a cup of coffee with my initial formed in the foam.

While I couldn't find Chef Cédric Grolet's exact recipe, I took inspiration from various sources, including blogs and videos, and created my own version of the tart. This apple tart is not your typical dessert. It surprises your taste buds with a combination of sweet and sour apples, both cooked and raw. The crust is filled with a luscious almond cream and apple compote, which could easily stand alone as a classic apple tart.

But what truly steals the show is the crown of apple slices on top. These slices are gently baked but not cooked through, creating a delightful confusion for the unsuspecting taster. It's as if the poet behind this recipe intended to play with our senses. In the end, the tart was devoured by everyone, and it received rave reviews.

Foncage Foncage - Preparing the tart crust

Blind baking Blind baking the tart crust

Pre-baked apple tart Pre-baked apple tart

Baked apple tart Baked apple tart

Golden rush apples Golden Rush apples

Cutting apples Cutting apples

Apple compote Apple compote

Mashed apples Mashed apples

Slicing apples Slicing apples

Slicing the apples with a mandoline Slicing the apples with a mandoline

Decorating the tart with apple slices Decorating the tart with apple slices

Apple tart The finished apple tart

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 175g flour
  • 20g almond powder
  • 65g powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp salt (2g)
  • 100g cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 40g eggs

Almond cream

  • 50g soft butter (at room temperature)
  • 50g powdered sugar
  • 40g eggs (at room temperature)
  • 2 tsp whisky (or any other liquor)
  • 50g almond powder
  • 10g corn starch
  • Half a Granny Smith apple

Apple compote

  • About 4 Granny Smith apples (500g)
  • Juice from 1 lemon (60g)

Lemon syrup

  • 250g water
  • 200g sugar
  • Juice from 3 lemons

Decoration

  • 5-6 red apples (Royal Gala)
  • 50g butter

Equipment

  • Round ring, 20cm diameter and 2.5cm height
  • Pastry bag fitted with a smooth 10mm tip
  • Small spreading spatula
  • Peeler
  • Mandoline slicer
  • Brush

Crust:

  1. In a mixer bowl, combine flour, almond powder, powdered sugar, salt, and cold butter cubes. Mix at low-medium speed until the mixture resembles sand-like consistency.

  2. Add vanilla and eggs, mixing until the dough starts to form. Combine the dough parts, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

  3. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface to a 3-4mm thickness. Place the dough in a baking ring, pressing the dough to the sides of the ring to create the crust.

  4. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork, line it with parchment paper, and fill it with pie weights or dry chickpeas. Freeze the crust for 30 minutes, then bake it at 160°C/320°F for 17 minutes. Remove the weights and bake for another 10-12 minutes until the crust begins to brown. Set aside to cool.

Almond cream:

  1. In a mixer bowl, beat soft butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Gradually add eggs, whisking until well combined. Mix in the whisky, almond powder, and corn starch.

  2. Fill a pastry bag with the almond cream and pipe it into the crust. Spread the mixture evenly and top it with apple cubes.

  3. Bake the tart at 170°C/340°F for 10-12 minutes until the cream is set. Let it cool to room temperature.

Apple compote:

  1. Peel and cube the Granny Smith apples. Cook the apple cubes with lemon juice over low-medium heat for about 25 minutes until the apples soften but still retain some texture. Transfer the compote to a bowl and let it cool in the fridge.

Lemon syrup:

  1. Combine water, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let it cool.

Putting it all together:

  1. Spread the apple compote on top of the tart in a mound shape. Use a mandoline slicer to cut apple slices, dipping them in the lemon syrup for a few seconds before arranging them in a spiral form around the tart.

  2. Create a rose shape with six apple slices and place it at the center of the tart. Brush the apple slices with melted butter and bake at 160°C/320°F for 7-10 minutes until slightly browned.

  3. Allow the tart to cool to room temperature before refrigerating it in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

Enjoy this delectable apple tart with your loved ones, just like Daniella did. It's a truly special treat that will leave everyone craving for more.

Apple tart The irresistible apple tart

Yum!

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