17 September 2007

"Rustic Apple Tart with Rich Cream Cheese Crust" & In The Bag Event

Rustic Apple Tart with Rich Cream Cheese Crust
This weekend I have just been a cooking maniac. This is the third event that I have entered this weekend!!Sometimes I get stuck in creative mode and just don't know when to stop. It just means that we will have interesting and flavourful dishes for a few days. In my busy household sometimes it is wise to cook up a storm on the weekend which helps us get through the work week and into the following weekend..when it starts all over again! I have not been a slave to my stove either. I went to the Dragon Boat Festival downtown yesterday afternoon and to a friends for dinner for a "Ladies Night Out". I am told this is a "hen" night.



I have been itching to make this apple tart for some time now. I have seen it in various magazines with fresh seasonal fruits like peaches, plums, apples and pears. The rich, cream cheese pastry comes together so easily in a food processor. With it's free form shape it is also easy to put together something sensational! I am afraid mine did not look like the magazine covers but don't let it's looks deceive you. It was very tasty with a bit of whipped cream topping ... perhaps ice cream next time.


Julia over at http://asliceofcherrypie.blogspot.com/ and Cherry of http://cherrysenglishkitchen.typepad.com have a monthly "In the Bag Event". This months challenge is to use seasonal fruits. It is hosted this month by Scott over at Real Epicurean http://www.realepicurean.com/. Here in British Columbia what could be more seasonal this time of year but apples. I remember when I was a child, the Sears catalogue had fresh British Columbia apples for purchase at Christmas that you could ship anywhere in the world. We are renowned for our apples, seasonal fruits and wines here in the valley. It seemed a no brainer to incorporate them into this month's event. I added fresh blueberries to the tart as well for a little colour and used cane sugar for sprinkling on top. It would have been nice to add a little ice wine to the whipped cream as well.




**Rustic Apple Tart with Rich Cream Cheese Crust**

Filling:

2 large tart apples
2 tablespoons strained lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 2 T sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Rich Cream Cheese Dough:

1/2 cup (4 oz) chilled cream cheese, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for shaping
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten for rim of the crust

Vanilla Whipped Cream:

1-1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
3 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400F.

To Make Filling: Peel the apples and cut them in half. Remove the cores with a paring knife. Cutting from the blossom end to stem end, slice each half into 1/4-inch thick slices. ( I have one of those handy dandy apple corers that slice and core at the same time; which does it all in fell swoop).

Combine apple slices with the lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar, and the cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Let the apples stand until the sugar is dissolved, about 15 minutes, stirring only once or twice.

Place a shaped large dough round on a baking sheet. Arrange the apple slices in 2 concentric circles on a large dough round or in one circle on the small rounds, overlapping the apple slices slightly.
Brush the rim of the crust with the egg yolk. Sprinkle the apples with the remaining 2 T sugar. bake until golden, 40 - 45 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature with Vanilla Whipped Cream or ice cream on the side.

Best served on the day it was made.

TO MAKE DOUGH: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cream cheese, butter, 1 cup flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Process until the dough just comes together. It says it will be sticky, but, I didn't find it to be at all.

Sprinkle the parchment paper with flour. Turn the dough out onto the sheet and, with floured hands, press the dough into a round 10-inch circle or 4 (5-inch circles). Roll out 1/2-inch of the edge inward to create lip to catch the juices. Refrigerate the crust for 1 hour or wrap the baking sheet in plastic wrap and refrigerate it up to 24 hours until you are ready to use it. May be frozen for up to 2 months and used directly from the freezer.

VANILLA WHIPPED TOPPING:

Combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. With an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip on high speed until the cream just holds stiff peaks. Do not over whip. Use immediately or refrigerate it, covered in plastic wrap, for up to 6 hours. Whisk it again for a couple of seconds before using.

NOTES : One trick I learned on the Food Network is to add 1 - 2 tsp of skim milk powder to the whipped cream to act as a stabilizer so it will not separate if it needs to sit for a while before using.

If you are having 8 or fewer people to dinner, double the recipe and make 8 individual tarts. The dough can be made ahead and shaped weeks ahead of time, and the rest of the prep is minimal, leaving ample time to prepare the rest of the meal!!!

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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13 comments:

  1. Tart really look yummy Valli. Great combo!:))

    Love the smile on that Cat!! So cute!

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  2. It looks beaut! And that whipped cream tip is one I'll need to file away for future reference.

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  3. Sounds great. I just got back from a Ladies' weekend and I'm exhausted!

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  4. You most certainly have been a cooking whirlwind, Valli...and just look at all of the gorgeous creations that have resulted! And you'd better believe that your tart looks every bit as beautiful as any on a magazine cover. Cream cheese pastry is my very favorite pastry, and with that apple filling and whipped cream topping...perfection. :-)

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  5. This looks so delicious! I have never made a free form tart before, but apple season is upon us and what better way to use some apples? This looks fabulous!!

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  6. Looks absolutely delicious! I was planning to make some apple cake as well for In the Bag event... but I'm not sure if I will have time this week.
    Greetings, Margot

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  7. That looks really good. The cream cheese in the dough sounds interesting.

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  8. Thanks for all your encouragement guys!! Baking is not "where it's at" for me so when something turns out and is not crumbling under my fingers I am truly happy!!!The satisfied look on the cat...that's me!!!

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  9. The Cream Cheese Dough sounds amazing! What a great idea. It Looks so flipin good!

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  10. Alright I do believe you've convinced me that I should make this for my boyfriend. He loves fruit pies, while I'm not really a fan of them. But with a cream cheese crust...

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  11. I've got to try this one Valli. It looks like just my kind of tart, simple, rustic, with an extra kick in the pastry. Yum.

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  12. I'm also impressed. I'm trying to lose weight and I'm sure this one won't help me though ;)

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  13. This looks and sounds delicious, Valli. You have been very busy and creative - I missed reading so many posts!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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