This aint no Pop-Tart pt. 1 (the crust)

6 Mar

So it seems like there are certain foods or recipes that just stick with you, and from time to time they plant themselves in the forefront of your mind until you make them. This week it was a tart au pomme (apple tart) and homemade samoas. I decided to let the word decide for me which I should make first, and on Tuesday I had my answer. In a book I had borrowed from one of my teachers for an independent study project was a picture of an authentic tart au pomme. I took this as a sign from the universe, and yesterday I made it. No occasion, no real reason, I just had the urge to make it, and eat it. As for the samoas, I think I’ll wait another week or so to make those, because I have a project for tonight/tomorrow morning which may or may not involve cheddar cheese in snack cracker form… 🙂

Back to the tart! Since it was done on a whim, I didn’t even check to see if I had all the ingredients beforehand, I basically just made it while hoping that I had everything. Luckily I had 3 Granny Smith Apples which proved to be more than necessary for my dessert.

First, I’ll show you how to make a simple tart dough. I decided to make the savory version in my Williams and Sonoma cook book, but I swapped the lemon juice for vanilla extract. The apple tart recipe had enough sugar in it, so I decided the dough should go without.

I started with the butter and the flour. The recipe called for using a food processor, but I decided to use my trusty kitchenaid instead since it’s bigger. You  blend it until the pieces of butter are about the size of peas or small hard candies. I mixed it for 5 minutes, then went through with a knife to cut up the bigger chunks.

Then, add the eggs, water, and vanilla.

It should look like this after a while:

At this point I decided to do the rest by hand.

I just turned it on to a cutting board, split it in half and kneaded it until just combined. I was left with two disks of dough which would be enough for a large tart, and make an individual tart. I wrapped it and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes while I started getting the filling ready. After the half hour, I unwrapped one hunk of the dough and rolled it out with some flour. 

I then buttered a pie dish (note to self: buy a tart pan!) to make sure the dough didn’t stick, and placed the dough over the top. I lightly pressed the dough in the dish so that it was flat on the bottom, and against the edge.

To get rid of the excess I used my rolling-pin to roll over the top of it, and the extra dough just came right off.

Then, because my dish didn’t have the nice fluted edges, I pushed my fingers against the sides to make a pattern. I also stabbed the bottom with a fork to help stop the dough from rising. You’ll also want to puncture the sides (something I forgot to do) to avoid unsightly air bubbles (like me).

I then laid a piece of parchment paper over the top of the pie and filled it with rice. This weighs the dough down to make sure it really doesn’t get bubbles. You could use foil, but you would probably need to butter it to prevent sticking.

You then bake this for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

When you take it out of the oven, you take out the rice and parchment paper and put it back in the oven so that the bottom can cook properly.

See those ugly bubbles? This is why you poke the sides! Don’t let this happen to you. Friends don’t let friends make ugly crusts!

Here’s the recipe for te dough. I got it from Williams and Sonoma’s Weeknight Cook recipe book, and have tweaked it slightly. If you don’t have a kitchenaid like me, you could easily do it in a bowl and mix with your hands!

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Directions:

In a bowl, mix the flour, salt and butter until pea-size crumbs form. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the water, eggs, and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and mix until dough forms, adding water as needed. Finish the dough using your hands on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half and flatten into small disks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before use.

I’ll do the second post to show you what I filled it with! 🙂

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