My house smells like burnt sugar.  Very, very bad smell.  However, as per usual, what I was making turned out flawlessly.  But as for my baking sheets well…not so much.  You all know I’m no stranger to burning things.  My poor boyfriend. “STOP BURNING SHIT!” he yells from atop a dining room chair, waving a dish towel back and forth under the smoke detector.  God love him.

I’ve been very inspired by French cuisine lately.  I find the language to be absolutely captivating and lovely.  I’m so interested in learning the language, if not for any other reason than to pronounce the recipes in the various French cookbooks.

Tonight I made a French Apple Tart.  Classic French food doesn’t necessarily mean difficult.  This tart is of few ingredients, but it in no way lacks in flavor.  The buttery, rich crust, the tart and slightly softened apples, the crusted sugar…Oh where have you been all my life.

For the crust:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 tbs cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup really cold water

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Pulse 2-3 times just to combine.  Add in the butter and pulse 10-12 times, or until the butter has broken down into small pea sized pieces.  Then with the mixer running on low, slowly drizzle in the ice water, mixing just until the dough comes together.  Then working quickly, dump the dough out onto a floured board, form into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour.

The reason for leaving the butter in little pieces throughout the dough, is that so when the heat from the oven hits the butter in the dough, it will cause steam, making the crust moist and flaky and delicious.

For the topping:

  • 3-4 granny smith apples
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tbs cold unsalted butter, diced

Peel and slice the apples into about 1/4 inch slices.  Place apple slices around the top of the dough.  However you want to design them really.  Next, sprinkle the sugar over the apple slices then dot the top with the cold diced butter.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Once tart comes out of the oven let it cool on a rack.  Then in a small pot, combine about 1/2 cup of fruit preserves, apricot would be nice but I used peach preserves because that is what I had on hand, with the juice of a small lemon.  Warm until the preserves melt slightly then brush over the top of the apple tart.

I’m sorry to say but this was worth the smoke alarm.

Dessert a la francaise!