Few things are as comforting as baked apples. There are undoubtedly better tasting fruits than apples and more interesting combinations than apples and cinnamon – but apple pies carry the weight of representing and reminding us of the perfect home we never had.
This effect, however, is more prominent when dealing with American apple pies. When I hear the name Tarte Normande I think about sitting in a cabin in Normandy and drinking cider, surrounded by grass and cows. Needless to say, I’ve never been to Normandy – those are just visions induced by the visual appeal of sliced apples and the intoxicating smell of cinnamon.
Slicing the apples was a very meditative activity. For a moment it seemed like all existence consists of apples being skinned, cored and sliced repeatedly. I was somewhat surprised when there were no more apples to slice, and I was thrown back into reality. Apparently I should have sliced them lengthwise to get bigger slices, but it doesn’t matter that much.
When I baked the tart shell, I accidentally set the oven for 160°C which prevented the shell from browning nicely, and made the final tart too crumbly. Assembling the tart was fun but there are prettier ways to do it that I should learn.
And after baking:
It tasted good, but the texture was lacking, and so was appearance. I had way too many sliced apples so I made another one the following day:
And the baked result is at the top of this post. Quite better this time, the tart shell was properly baked and also the batter that covers the apples was better and browned nicely. However it wasn’t sweet enough (arguably an advantage) and the apples should have been a little softer.
Recipe (courtesy of Maayan)
For the tart shell (I think my tart pan is 24cm, so adjust if needed)
- 150gr butter
- 200gr plain flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp water
The technique here is similar to the pie crust here so I won’t repeat it. Refrigerate the dough for about 1 hour.
For the filling
- Apples – I don’t know how many, I had too much
- Some lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon
- 90gr whipping cream
- 36gr egg (about 3/4 egg)
- 20gr egg yolk (about 1 yolk)
- 20gr sugar
- 1/2 tsp corn starch