I’ve never been a big apple dessert fan, but a tart made from scratch, with fresh apples and dough, completely changes things. Jenni and I had an over-abundance of apples from a recent apple picking outing, so this was one of the ways in which they were used. The first attempt yielded good results, but I wasn’t completely happy with the dough. I wanted a more “buttery” flavor. The below recipe is altered to reflect my second try, which I was very pleased with! The dough is a bit harder to work with when there is less flour, so using the parchment paper (as detailed below) is extremely helpful. Plus, it allows you to roll out the dough without having to add any additional flour.
Tart Dough ingredients:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unrefined granulated sugar
1 tsp fine grained sea salt
3/4 cup Earth Balance soy butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Approximately 1/2 cup ice water
In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Use the paddle attachment and mix on low speed, adding in the soy butter bit by bit. Continue mixing for about 1 minute (the mixture should begin to resemble small beads.) Continue mixing and gradually add in the ice water until the dough is moist, but does not clump up onto the paddle of the mixer. If needed, add more ice water, only a tablespoon or so at a time.
Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and knead briefly, just so that the dough comes together. Pat the dough to form a disc, cover in plastic wrap, and stick it in the fridge for at least 1 hour to overnight.
Apple Filling Ingredients:
4-5 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced. (I used 2 fuji, 2 granny smith)
1-2 tsp lemon juice
Finely grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup light brown sugar
Pinch of sea salt
Turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. I actually used a pizza stone instead of a cookie sheet. Pizza stones are great because they help distribute heat more evenly within the oven. I still used parchment paper, but don’t line the pizza stone with it ahead of time. You’ll see why in a sec.
Between 2 pieces of parchment paper, roll out the tart dough to about 16 inches in diameter. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and gently roll in the edges of the dough to form a sort of pizza crust look. If you’re using a cookie sheet, go ahead and move the dough onto the cookie sheet, using the parchment paper to lift and move it. Place the dough, with the parchment paper still underneath it, directly onto the sheet.
Place all of the apple filling ingredients into a large bowl and gently mix with your hands to combine and evenly coat all of the apples.
Arrange the apple slices onto the tart dough. Brush some of the extra juice from the bowl onto the crust and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. If you still have extra juice in the bowl, save it to brush onto the apple slices AFTER you have baked the tart. Optional, but tasty.
If you’re using a pizza stone, you’ll just place the dough, with the parchment underneath, directly onto the stone. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
* Tip for removing the tart from the pizza stone: Don’t try lifting the tart using the parchment. I did this and it started breaking. Instead, I found it helpful to place a cooling rack directly next to the stone and just slide the tart and the parchment onto it.