WOW! This is the essence of apples in a flaky, crisp crust.
This week the Tuesdays with Dorie group has chosen the French Apple Tart from “Baking with Julia”. The guest pastry chef is Leslie Mackie, owner of Macrina Bakery in Seattle. You might want to read Leslie’s November blog which included updated tips for pie crust here. She is the author of two cookbooks which I hope to find at the library.
At first glance the recipes seem to be typical: blind bake a crust, make a fresh applesauce for the filling, decorate the top with carefully sliced apples and bake.
But when you carefully read all the instructions there are some techniques that were new to me. Her applesauce is baked rather than simmered on the stove.
And her directions for blind baking are different from any that I have taught. After baking the crust, Leslie says “Transfer the crust, with the paper and weights, to a cooling rack and let cool while you make the filling”.
Most blind baking recipes have you remove the lining of paper and weights, and then return the crust to the oven to finish baking the underdone bottom. You are always fighting the crust which wants to puff up in the oven once the weights are gone. I really thought leaving the weights on the crust would create a soggy bottom but I was wrong!! The heat of the weights seems to finish cooking the crust. When I cut into the finished tart, the bottom was so flaky. I certainly will try this technique again. I think this was the best crust I have made for a tart. And I’ve made lots of tarts.
I did change the finishing touch, instead of confectioners sugar I glazed the tart with homemade rhubarb jelly; the recipe is from my favorite jam book, Food in Jars Cookbook.