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Apple tart: Make yours as pretty as a pastry chef's


(CBS News) I love apples. Love. Love. Love.

The only problem? I can't eat them.

At 18, I developed an allergy to all raw "fleshy" fruits - apples, pears, peaches, plums...all the good stuff. Seven years later, I miss eating these fruits just as much as when I went cold-turkey on day one.

So, you can imagine what a tease its been working with apples in culinary school: peeling and chopping one after another of the ever-so-tempting Granny Smith and Golden Delicious. All I want to do is sneak a bite, or two... or 27.

Video: Make your apple tart look store-bought

The little light at the end of this (unfortunate) tunnel is that I'm good to go with juices, sauces and fruity desserts. Cooked apples are happy apples in my book. The protein that dislikes me changes when the fruits are cooked, meaning I can eat cooked apples to my heart's content.

In class we made a really pretty and subtly sweet tart that's not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also hits my "misses apples" spot. I'd definitely suggest making this tart at home: it looks so fancy, but is deceptively easy.

To learn how to make your apple tart look as pretty as a pastry chef's, watch the video above.

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Apple Tart (Tarte Aux Pommes)
Adapted from The International Culinary Center

Apple Tart made in class at The International Culinary Center
  • 1 Recipe Pate Brisee
  • Butter for the flan ring and bottom
  • 4-5 medium-large Granny Smith apples
  • 2-3 Golden Delicious apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven 425F

1. Peel and halve the Granny Smith apples. Remove cores. Rub each half with lemon.

2. Cut the apples in large chunks and put them in a saute pan with the water and sugar. Cover the compote with a parchment-paper lid cut to the size of the pan with a small hole in the center, and cook over medium heat until the apples are soft enough to mash. The apple compote should be slightly chunky rather than completely smooth. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

3. Roll out dough, place it in a buttered ring (any tart pan works, best with a removable bottom) and refrigerate until cold. (See video: Pie crust: 6 steps for success.)

4. Peel the Golden Delicious apples for garnish, cut in half lengthwise, and remove the core. Rub the halves with lemon and slice horizontally, evenly and thinly to a thickness of no more than 1/8 inch.

5. Fill the cooled pastry shell to three-quarters of its depth with the apple compote.

6. Arrange the apple slices closely together around the tart. There should be two rings of slices that overlap. Brush the apples with the melted butter and sprinkle with some sugar.

7. Top the center with an apple stem. (NOTE: Remember that the apples will shrink in the oven, so top the tart with a generous amount. No compote should be visible.)

8. Bake the tart on the bottom rack of the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, lower the heat to 350F, and make for about 50 to 60 minutes. The apples should be soft and brown on the edges, and the pastry should be golden brown.

9. Remove the tart from the oven and place it on a cooling rack.

10. Put the apricot jam in a small pan along with the water, bring to a simmer and stir with a whisk until it is completely melted and smooth. Strain if lumpy.

11. Brush the top of the cooled tart evenly with a thin coating of glaze. Slice and serve.

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