Today`s chosen recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is “Crispy, Cracky Apple-Almond Tart”, a very pretty and simple rectangular apple tart with lots of crunchy layers of phyllo dough. The phyllo dough consists of paper-thin sheets of unleavened flour dough used for making pastries in Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisine.
We have been eating a very similar tart for the longest time, I cannot remember how many times I made an apple tart with a puff pastry base and rows of delicious sliced apples, sometimes I also make a hazelnut cream as a layer beneath the rows of sliced apples and most of the time I serve a homemade warm vanilla custard sauce (”Vanillesauce”) alongside. But this time, I followed Dorie´s wonderful recipe exactly and the result was an amazingly delicious “Crispy, Crackly Apple-Almond Tart”.
The first step is the preparation of the almond cream with all but six ingredients, namely almond flour (easily done by grinding almonds into a fine meal, I should mention that I left the skins on the almonds), superfine white sugar, an egg, vanilla extract (I used homemade vanilla sugar), a pinch of fine salt and a few tablespoons of cream (I used 35% cream). Since the almond cream needs a three hour rest in the refrigerator, a bit of planning is required. Once the almond cream has had a rest, the next step in the recipe calls for layering eight sheets of phyllo (I made nine layers), brushing each layer with melted butter and sprinkling a bit of sugar over each buttered layer.
After I layered the phyllo dough on a baking sheet, I spread the almond cream (leavening a border) on the dough, peeled the apples and arranged them in rows on top of the almond cream. The tart needed to bake for a good forty minutes. The sides of the baked tart curled up around the layers of the apples and the almond cream - an effect that is wanted for this tart.
Last step in this recipe is the “finishing touch”, brushing a glaze of apple jelly over the apples – this will make the tart taste even more delicious and it looks even prettier with the rows of “shiny looking” apple slices.
Usually I use a local apple jelly to brush my apple tarts but this time, I used an apple jam with cinnamon (“Confiture Pommes à la Cannelle”) that I heated ever so slightly and strained before brushing it over the tart. I found this cute Weck jar with the apple cinnamon jam in my favorite Dutch kitchen supply store “Dille Kamille” and just could not resist – it added a delicious finishing touch to the tart, all 80 grams of it (which is not more than a heaping tablespoon).
I brought the apple tart to the table "whole", as Dorie so aptly points out, bringing this tart to the table before it is cut, makes for a pretty presentation. This is a fun tart to prepare with ingredients that are fairly easy to procure. I like that you can make it with local produce such as apples and apple jelly from your favorite farmer´s store or market. This recipe is a keeper and a nice change to our usual puff pastry apple tart.
To see how the other Doristas fared with this wonderful “Crispy, Cracky Apple-Almond Tart”, please do click here.