this week’s recipe belongs to brooklyn’s own deadly squire. anna and tim started deadly squire in 2004; inspired by forms and repeats in nature (and mid-century swedish textile design), deadly squire created a textile collection that now includes 6 colorful patterns. with plans to add three new patterns in the new year, things are always on the up and up with this deadly duo. anna and tim like to make simple, functional products with their fabrics and hope to “bring color and curiosity into people’s homes”. this week they’re bringing color, curiosity and a delicious baked apple dessert into our homes. anna explained, “we love this perfect dessert for thanksgiving (and other rich, fall meals) because it tastes refreshing rather than overly sweet and heavy.” who doesn’t love a perfect fall dessert? just click here to view anna’s detailed step-by-step recipe for “tart apple tart” (or click “read more” below). editors note: if the recipe looks a bit on the long side it’s only because anna has explained everything in detail to guarantee success for anyone who tries it. enjoy! [photo above by janye wexler]
Tart Apple Tart
for the filling:
• 5-8 granny smith apples or other crisp hard apples of your liking , depending on size of
• 2 macintosh or “softer” apples of your liking
• 4 lemons
• 1 stick butter – salted (you will only use 85g of the stick)
for the pastry:
• 2 cups all purpose flour (250g)
• 1 stick of butter (114g) – salted, cut into marble-sized pieces, refrigerated
• 1 teaspoon sugar (5g)
• iced water
To make the dough by hand (to use a food processor, see notes below):
This step should be done with dry hands and as quickly as possible to ensure that the butter remains cold.
• Put flour, a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon sugar into large mixing bowl and mix with a spoon.
• Use two blunt knives or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mixture.
• Using your hands, continue to mix until all butter and flour are mass, albeit one
crumb-textured. (It is helpful to lift your hands upward and let the dough go through your
fingers – gets air into the dough)
• Use one hand to manipulate dough while the other sprinkles iced water over the dough,
one tablespoon at a time. Be careful not to add too much water! You want just enough
to get the dough to form a ball… it should NOT be sticky or “doughy”. It should remain
relatively dry… just barely forming a ball by bashing together.
• Form a ball/disk with the dough and wrap in plastic. Put in fridge while you do the next
To make the filling:
• Preheat the oven to 375F.
• Peel and cut into cubes 2 “soft” variety apples. Put into pot with enough water to just
• Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until you have a simple apple sauce. Remove
from heat and let cool.
• Peel, core, and quarter granny smith apples and immediately place each in a large bowl
with water and squeezed lemon halves (use 3 lemons).
• Slice each apple quarter into thin slivers by standing each on it’s side and holding between
forefinger and thumb (this will maintain the desired shape and make it easier and quicker to
fill the pie later). Give a squeeze with your remaining lemon to each set of slices so they
don’t brown and also for taste.
Assemble the pie:
• Remove dough from fridge. And quickly roll out on the counter to 1/8” thickness, about
one inch larger than the pan you’re putting it in. (I find that I actually whack the dough a
bunch of times to get it flat and then I roll).
• With the help of spatula, transfer to tart dish, making sure to press dough against sides of
dish. Do not butter dish – no need, there is enough fat in the pastry. If your pastry
breaks during this step, just patch it together in the tin – no one will see with finished
• Spread a nice but not thick layer of applesauce in the pie shell and any odd and end bits of
sliced apples flat on top of sauce, saving your prettiest slices for the next step.
• Beginning at the outer rim of your dish, add sliced apples by carefully taking each sliced
apple quarter and fanning the slices. Continue to do this in concentric rings until you’ve
filled the pie. Sprinkle cinnamon and granulated sugar on top of arranged apples.
• Roll remaining scraps of dough into an oblong shape and cut into “ribbons” with a knife or
fluted pastry wheel. Use these ribbons to make a lattice across the top of the pie.
Sprinkle again with cinnamon and sugar.
• Slice 3 / 4 (85g) of the remaining stick of butter length-wise into slices and lay butter on
top of tart.
• Place pie on middle shelf of oven. Bake for 1- 1.5 hours… depending on your oven… pie
should be golden brown.
Serve at room temperature. Delicious the next day… or even 3 days later – better not refrigerated.
I make a basic pate brisée sucrée but I use salted butter and usually add an additional pinch of salt to the flour… I really like the salty, sweet, sour contrasts. Proper bakers won’t want to use salted butter… they will use unsalted and add the salt to the flour alone… It is fine if you choose to do it this way, but make sure to taste the dough – it should be nicely salty.
To use the Cuisinart:
If you want to use the Cuisinart, you MUST use FROZEN butter… otherwise the butter will get too warm and your pie crust won’t be flaky. Put all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse the dough – do not turn the machine on and let run – until the butter has been somewhat incorporated, leaving pieces the size of peas. Slowly sprinkle the ice water down the feed, one tablespoon at a time until the dough slightly comes together. Be careful not to add too much water! You want just enough to get the dough to form a ball… it should NOT be sticky or “doughy”. It should remain relatively dry.
About this recipe: This is my favorite apple tart because it is sour, sweet and savory – too many apple desserts are too sweet. I have been making it for years at Thanksgiving, starting 15 years ago from a Martha Stewart recipe but have since adapted it to my own tastes. Tim likes to make it, too, but only makes dough with a Cuisinart and frankly, thinks all of those apple slices are fussy. He loves to eat it. Everyone i know loves to eat it – really. It’s worth the effort to hear raves. :)