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Classic Apple Tart with Frangipane

This beautiful rustic dessert offers the complementary flavors of tart apples on a base of sweet-and-nutty almond paste known as frangipane. Use a mandoline to cut the apples into thin, uniform slices.

Ingredients:

For the tart dough:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbs. very cold water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, cored, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick on a mandoline
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves, warmed and strained through a fine-mesh sieve

Directions:

To make the tart dough, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, water and vanilla; set aside.


In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt and pulse to blend, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 10 to 12 pulses. Add the egg mixture and pulse until the dough forms a ball.


Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.


Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.


On a lightly floured surface, flatten the disk with 6 to 8 gentle taps of a rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out into an 11-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Fold the dough in half and carefully transfer to a 9 1/2-inch round tart pan. Press the dough firmly and evenly into the pan, ensuring that the sides are not too thick. Run the rolling pin over the top to trim the dough. If necessary, use scraps to patch any tears or holes in the dough.

Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake the tart shell until the edges are beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment and weights and continue baking until the center is golden, about 10 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and let the tart shell cool completely.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

In a food processor, combine the almonds, the 1/3 cup sugar and the salt and process until the almonds are finely ground. Add the egg, vanilla extract, almond extract and melted butter and process until the mixture comes together. Pour the frangipane into the cooled tart shell and smooth with a rubber spatula.

In a bowl, stir together the apple slices and lemon juice. Arrange the slices, slightly overlapping, on top of the frangipane and sprinkle evenly with the 2 Tbs. sugar. Bake until the apples are tender, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the tart cool completely, then brush the apples with the apricot preserves. Cut the tart into slices and serve. Serves 8.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.