This week I finished reading a book. Sounds minimal, I know. But it’s been a long while since something’s caught my attention enough to finish it, and in record time too. Cea Person writes of her rollercoaster ride childhood living in and out of tents and tipis in Canada’s wilderness, in her memoir North of Normal. Counter culture hippie grandparents of the 70’s, an always-searching-for-something teen mom, and a less than stable band of siblings can surely make for a book worthy upbringing. But it’s Cea’s realization at the end of the book that really ‘makes it’ for me. The realization that she’s not all too sure that her own small kids, growing up in typical (safe) childhoods, will be better off for it. Recognition of the qualities and strengths a person can acquire from having gone through heavy, burdensome times. Resilience, determination, and forgiveness are all lessons learned the hardway for Cea, and she writes of these lessons in raw form. You can follow her blog here, or click the other two links above for her official website. I highly recommend this read. Looking forward to your next book Cea!
Now for the tart.
The Tart Dough: yields one 8 or 9 inch round tart.
1+1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, soft
1/4 cup sugar
-Preheat your oven to 375 F.
-Whisk together the flour and salt. In a large bowl cream together the sugar and soft butter with a spatula until smooth and creamy.
-Stir the egg into the sugar/butter mixture until smooth, then add the flour and mix until a dough forms. Continue mixing until the dough is even and there are no pieces of dry ingredients. You’re looking for a smooth dough rather than a flaky pie dough.
-Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap, and roll the dough out to approximately 10 inches across. If your tart pan is 9 inches you need 10 inches rolled dough, and if your tart pan is 8 inches you need 9 inches rolled dough. Rest the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes.
-Line the tart mold with the rolled dough, pushing with your fingers across the bottom and up the sides to ensure it’s even thickness and nicely sealed into the pan. Trim any excess off the edges. You can use a pie plate for this tart as well, whatever you have.
-Line the tart with parchment paper, fill with beans, and blind bake for 15-20 minutes. I removed the beans after 12 minutes and baked another 8 minutes after.
-Leave the blind baked shell to the side to cool, and make the filling.
The Filling: yields one 8 or 9 inch round tart.
1/3 cup apple sauce (homemade is best)
1 tsp sugar
1 TB melted butter
1 TB all purpose flour
2 large Honeycrisp apples (or other tart apples)
-Whisk together the first 6 ingredients until it’s a smooth paste being sure there are no lumps of flour.
-Slice the apples into quarters removing the cores, and then cut each quarter into at least 15-20 thin slices. A mandoline is a good way to slice the apples uniformly and thinly, but a sharp knife and patience works fine as well!
-Spread the filling onto the bottom of the cooled tart shell evenly, then begin fanning the thin apple slices on top of it. Each apple will make up one layer of fanned apples, so you’ll make two layers of fanned apples on top of the apple filling.
-After you’ve fanned the first layer of apples: sprinkle it liberally with sugar, then begin the next layer of apples. Give the top layer of apples a liberal sprinkling with sugar as well, and place in the oven at 375 F.
-The tart will take quite a while, you’re looking for a nice caramelized quality. I never mind a few crispy looking dark spots on my tart. I like to bake the tart fully and then turn the oven to broil for a minute or two to color the top nicely.
***As it turns out I missed my 2 minute broil timer, and my tart’s a little… charred!? But I assure you it tastes glorious!
-This tart took approximately an hour to bake at 375, but your oven and tart won’t be exactly the same as mine, so judge accordingly. This is only a guideline, but 45 minutes minimum is my suggestion.