Tuesday, January 22, 2013

TWD-French Apple Tart

Tart Ninja

This seems way too fancy for me to even think about making.  I don't think I've ever made a tart.  Though I'm pretty sure I bought a tart pan at one time.  Will have to rummage through my cabinets and see if that is true or was just a dream I had.  (I may or may not admit that I have baking dreams)

I do want to make this, as it looks wonderful in the cookbook.  And I'd like to prove to myself that I can do it.  But the Debbie Doubter in me says don't even try.  She could have a valid point. (even though it wasn't a point at all and just a negative comment)  I mean I could just go to my favourite bakeshop (Three Tarts) and buy a lovely tart.  They don't have a website, but the Urban Spoon does have a review on them....so if you're ever in Ottawa, give this place a try.  It is my bakeshop of choice when I need a birthday cake or just some lovely desserts for a dinner party.   They make wonderful cakes, cookies, squares, loafs and tarts.  And all this talk of them makes me want to run there now!

So it would appear it wasn't a dream after all.....I do have a tart pan.  Go me!  Straight to the kitchen I go.  Time to peel a load of apples and slice them all up.  I'm also hoping I have a mandoline to slice up these apples.  Though perhaps I have an attachment for my food processor that I could make slices with.  I really can't imagine that I would be able to make slices with a knife....well I could, but there won't be any that were identical!

I'm doing it.  I am actually going to make this tart.  (might still be at the 'talking myself into it' phase)
Am I feeling any trepidation at the thoughts of making the tart?  Hells yeah.  Might be why I have the Michael Jackson song Thriller in my head?  And not just the song, but the video of all the zombies creeping up on his girlfriend in the video.  Is the tart crust going to be creeping up on me??

The dough for the crust went together very easily.  I decided to make it by hand, as I think I over process dough in my food processor and stand mixer.  I tried very hard to keep as hands off as I could and not to knead it a lot.  I think I managed okay. 

The last pie crust I made was so tough.  How tough was it??  Umm....pretty tough.....
So I'm really hoping this one is better.  Just have to let it chill in the fridge for a few hours now.


It was a little bit of a challenge rolling the dough out.  I ended up covering it with a piece of saran wrap and rolling it so that the rolling pin didn't actually touch the dough. (sticky)  That seemed to work okay.  But then I didn't have enough flour under the dough and it then became a challenge to get the rolled out dough to the tart pan.  (trials and tribulations I tells ya)  Nobody knows the trouble I've seen.....

Okay, the dough is now in the tart pan and looking as good as it is going to get.  Whew, that was hard work.  Can't imagine why I don't enjoy pie/tart baking. 

Into the oven it goes....with some rice to weigh it down.  I baked it for the full 25 minutes.

D'oh!!!!!  I didn't read the part of the instructions that say to chill the tart crust before baking it off.  <insert heavy sigh here>  Is there going to be a point in my life where I actually read the instructions fully??  Ever???  I don't think so either. <insert another heavy sigh>

Not sure how the crust is supposed to look right now.  Is this like half baking a crust, since I have to then fill it and bake again?  Not sure why I didn't take a picture of the baked crust. (since I seem to be a little picture crazy today...meow)  Yes, I took a lot of pictures. 

Oh, oh.  Did I over bake the crust if pieces of the edge are falling off when I touch it?   Kind of like shaking hands with one of the zombies in the Thriller video....something is definitely going to fall off.  (touch at own risk)

Let's just move on to the apple part.  I don't think I can damage an apple.

The filling is super easy to make.  (unless you include the part were I try to figure out how to cut an apple half into 12 even pieces)  Math is hard.  Word problems were never my strong suit.  True story, just ask my 7th grade teacher.  I want to say his name was Mr. Graham....hmm...but not sure.  I did not enjoy his teachings (especially math) but once I got to High School I saw the favour he did by teaching me english so well.  (I excelled at that......I know, what the heck happened??!!)  But I digress....I think I've got a tart to make.

Apples have been peeled.....
Before baking

and ready to go in the oven.... 'cause apparently the oven is less scary to the apples than my spatula.  Wait until they meet the potato masher!

After baking and some mashing

Apple filling goes in

I didn't think I could do it, but I managed to slice all the apples up into somewhat equal slices without the use of any instruments other than my own hands and a knife.  Ta-da!

Apple slices added to tart......
sugar sprinkled on....

And here is the tart fresh out of the oven.  It isn't as brown around the edges as the tart in the cookbook, but it has already been in the oven for at least 10 minutes longer than the instructions say.  I am making the executive decision and pulling the tart out of the oven.

Well, I'm pretty darn pleased with this tart...the first tart I've ever made.  So glad that I tried it and didn't let Debbie the Doubter influence me!
I still need a lot of practice with my crust making, but overall I liked this apple tart.  The flavour was great and the tart went together pretty easily.
I'd even make this tart again!


  1. It turned out gorgeous! This one wasn't as scary as it looked when reading the instructions.

  2. I used a knife and was extra careful to keep them thin and not cut myself! Your tart looks beautiful! Nice photos. Kristine

  3. good job
    never enough pics in my book...especially good ones


  4. Congratulations! I'm so glad you overcame your trepidations about making a tart. You did a fantastic job and your tart looks perfect!

  5. Your tart looks perfect!!!!
    I love the last picture, it makes you want to pick a piece with the fork!!!
    Well done for your job Sandra!!!!

  6. Can't believe this is your first tart ever... good job!

  7. Wow, I wish my first tart ever had come out this good-looking! That's an amazing job, it looks perfect. Well done!

  8. How beautiful! You are the tart sensei.

  9. Such a beautiful tart! Very well done!!! It looks like you've been baking tarts for years--I am so proud of you!

  10. Woot! Yeah for tart success. Beautifully done... Are you sure this is your first :-)

  11. Pretty tart Sandra...


  12. Wow Sandra-you should be very pleased with the outcome of your lovely apple tart-very impressive!
    I enjoyed your post-baking an apple tart from scratch can be a bear-no way to get around that!!!!
    It gets easier but the truth is there's always more things to try that are new and challenging in the baking department-good thing you have that nifty rubber spatula with the skull, it could be your lucky charm in the kitchen;-)

  13. Kudos on making this tart, even if it did take awhile. It looks great!

  14. Great job! So many fears to overcome, but you did it! Your tart looks just perfect! Those hand-cut apple slices too. Who needs a special tool? Fun post!

  15. What a lovely tart! Glad you had such great success with your first one. Even the edge design of the pie crust turned out - I must not have cut my slits deep enough for the are barely noticeable after baking.

  16. What a beautiful tart! And such a great post. It was fun to read. I baked mine longer too and still felt it wasn't as "browned" as it should be, but it tasted great!

  17. Sandra, you made such a lovely looking French Apple Tart, I cannot believe you do not bake tarts like this on a regular basis. Absolutely lovely job and wonderful presentation!
    Have a great Wednesday!

  18. It looks beautiful! Don't doubt yourself! You can do anything if you set your mind to it! Great job.

  19. Instructions are for sissies :) Your tart looks beautiful... congratulations!

  20. I don’t think Debbie has to doubt anymore! You knocked it out of the park! Beautifully done!

  21. I'm so glad you made this tart! Totally gorgeous!!!

  22. The tart looks delicious! Can't believe it's your first time making one - you would never guess from your pictures!

  23. Your tart crust looks perfect!

  24. Glad to see someone else had some difficult getting the dough to cooperate! At least the finished product looks pretty and professional - good job!

  25. Glad you decided to make the tart, yours turned out so well and I liked your commentary on the whole process!

  26. If this is your first tart attempt, I am so jealous! Looks great and your hand slicing skills are better than mine mandoline slicing skills :)

  27. Yay for you making a tart! Dorie would be so proud, and Julia Child. And it looks fantastic!

  28. Your arranged the apples so perfectly! Gorgeous!!