In any case, I wanted to make something with what I already had on hand: one Pillsbury pie crust in the fridge; three Granny Smith apples in the pantry and some peach/cherry/apricot preserves in the door of the fridge. I’m a fan of less crust, not more, so I’ve been making French tarts with thinly sliced apples, adapting Julia Child’s recipe but simplifying it with pre-made pie crust. These thin tarts are less mushy and require peeling only three rather than eight apples to fill a full apple pie. I butter the foil on the pan before unfolding the pie crust; then brush the crust with slightly warmed preserves on which to place the apples.
After the apples are peeled and cored, they’re sliced really thin and placed in opposite facing rows, a small conceit that makes the tart look more fabulous than it deserves. Then I mix turbinado sugar (a heartier sugar) with ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle the top of the tart, dot with unsalted butter, a squeeze of fresh lemon and then place into the middle of a 400 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
Not quite finished, I take the tart out of the oven and then gently brush the jam lightly over the top, covering the whole thing with a kind of fruit glaze. Back into the oven for about twelve more minutes.
And voila! as the French say–a nice apple tart from a mere handful of ingredients I didn’t even remember that I had on hand.
I think we’ll serve it plain in small wedges tonight but it’s also really good with Haagen Daz vanilla swiss almond ice cream. Or a small dab of creme fraiche, come to think of it. Fingers crossed for the Bruins to win tonight!