Thanksgiving is just around the corner and if you’re like me, you already have a long list of dishes to choose from. My list always includes some interesting and daring recipes like tamale inspired stuffing, Caribbean scented sweet potatoes, and a vegan chocolate cheesecake. I think: maybe this year we should go with a Southeast Asian theme or try doing everything Southern style. But alas, we always stick to the basics, the recipes we know, and end up craving. How can Thanksgiving pass without grandma’s famous stuffing and a plain old pumpkin pie? Never.
However, I do feel regret about not making the opportunity to try something new. So this year, I decided that I should make all the experimental dishes leading up to Thanksgiving, and then on the actual day, eat those dishes I love and know. What a great idea right? A win-win situation and the best of both worlds.
I’m starting with a simple apple tart. I rarely bake with apples and for dessert we usually have pumpkin pie. So for me, this was different, but probably not for the average American. I also chose it because I think it would be a great no-fuss dessert. There aren’t many steps or complicated ingredients involved. For how much effort you put in, it’s much more sophisticated with a rustic feel. It was a big hit with my family.
If I were to make this for the big day, I would make the apple slices thinner, maybe about 1/8 inch thick or less. I didn’t have apricot jelly or marmalade so I omitted it and instead upped the sugar a little bit, but next time, I would definitely walk my lazy butt to the supermarket and get some. I think it would’ve really added another dimension to the tart.
Simple Apple Tart
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup ice water
1 large or 2 medium apples
2 tablespoons butter, diced small
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup apricot jam or marmalade, warm
2 tablespoons water
Sift flour, salt, and sugar together. With a pastry cutter, your hands, or a food processor, mix in 6 tablespoons of butter until the mixture looks like thick sand. Mix in the water until dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough quickly. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
When the dough is ready, roll into a 12 inch wide circle. Place dough on a sheet pan and chill while preparing the apples. Peel and core the apple. Cut in half from the stem then slice apples crosswise into 1/8 inch thick pieces. Arrange the apples in a circular pattern. Sprinkle the sugar and small butter pieces over the apples. Bake for 45 minutes or until edges of dough and apples are brown.
When done, heat the jam and water together and brush over the apples. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Apple juice will flow out of the tart. If you can, use a rimmed baking sheet to avoid oven smoke!