Rustic Apple and Almond Tart
The Queen of Hearts may have chosen the perfect summer day to bake her tarts, but I've carefully selected the dullest, greyest, rainiest day in November to bake this Rustic Apple Tart with Pillsbury Pie Crust.
Days like these are made for baking. After all, who wouldn't prefer staying warm and toasty indoors, engulfed in aromas of warm cinnamon and baked apples, to getting soggy and wet outdoors. And when these open faced apple pie tarts come out of the oven, what can be more enjoyable than snuggling up by the window, savoring a hot tart with a cup of coffee and watching the rain come down.
My apple almond tart recipe is so quick and easy to prepare. Thank goodness for ready-made Pillsbury pie crusts! But, if you would like to prepare your pie-crusts from scratch, my recipe includes instructions for that too.
For those of you who are familiar with the popular U.S. neighborhood grocery store Trader Joe's, they carry an amazing Rustic Apple Tart, only available for a short time in autumn. My recipe is a take on Trader Joe's Rustic Apple Tart. However, with less sugar and sans cream cheese, it's a lighter, healthier version than Trader Joe's.
The secret to this apple tart is selecting apples that hold their texture and shape well when baked. I've used crispy, green Granny Smith apples to make this Granny Smith tart. These apples are extra tart and don't contribute to a very sweet pie/tart.
However, for a sweeter apple filling, try Jonagolds, Honey Crisps or McIntoshes. These are sweeter apples than Granny Smiths, but retain their textures just as well and don't get too mealy or mushy under high heat.
RUSTIC APPLE AND ALMOND TART RECIPE
☐ 1 teaspoon salt
☐ 6 tablespoons, cold butter, cut into pieces
☐ 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
☐ 1 egg for egg wash
For the filling:
☐ 2 tablespoons flour
☐ 1/2 cup sugar
☐ 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
☐ 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
☐ 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
☐ 4 teaspoons lemon juice
☐ 4 tablespoons sliced almonds
1. Prepare the pastry
(If not using ready-made Pillsbury pie crusts)
- Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.
- Add the butter and shortening and rub between your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With a fork, stir in just enough ice water to bind the dough ( 4-8 tablespoons).
- Divide into 2 balls, wrap in waxed paper and chill for 20 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out one dough ball to 1/8 inch thick. Place a 9 inch cake pan or plate over the dough and trim the edge to create a 9 inch round.
- Place the two pastry rounds, on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
2. Prepare the flour/sugar mixture
- Mix the flour, sugar, lemon juice, spices and salt in a bowl to resemble coarse crumbs.
- Sprinkle 2/3 of this mixture onto the center of the two 9 inch pastry rounds leaving 1 inch from the edge clear.
3. Prepare the apples
- Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut in thin slices horizontally, then fan them out slightly.
- Transfer the sliced apple quarters to the pastry sheets and arrange them, starting from the center, like the spokes of the wheel. Cover the entire center of the pastry with apples, keeping 1 inch from the edge clear.
4. Add the toppings
- Sprinkle the remaining flour and sugar mixture over the apples.
- Top with sliced almonds.
- Fold the edges of the pie crust over the apples.
- Brush the pastry with egg wash.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 425° F.
- Reduce the heat to 350° F and bake until golden brown for 35-40 minutes. If the tart browns too quickly protect with foil.
- Optional: Glaze apples with maple syrup before serving.