My Stepmom makes the best gelato on the planet (more on that later). Although she could easily rest on her gelato laurels and call it a day, she rarely leaves it at that. Most often there is a beautiful homemade tart to go with the gelato (or vice versa, depending on your perspective). She uses whatever fruit is in season and catches her eye in the market. With this recipe she makes plum tarts, apple tarts, apricot, peach or pear tarts. Try it with whatever you have in your fruit bowl.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter, cold
- ½ cup ice water (or water + tablespoon orange or tangerine juice)
- a couple of drops of rose water
- jam or jelly of preferred type
- 10-12 commercial butter or amaretto cookies
- juice of one lemon
- 5-6 large Granny Smith apples
- ¼ cup of granulated sugar
- 1 egg white, beaten
This recipe will give you enough dough for two flat crusts for a double crust pie, or two 8-9 inch open-faced tarts.
Combine the dry ingredients. Cut up the butter. Either blend in a food processor or use a pastry blender to blend all of the ingredients except the water. Little by little add the water (and the juice if you are using it and the rose water). Mix until everything comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. You can keep the dough up to a week in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Split the dough in half and roll it out on a floured surface. Roll it out until it is ¼ inch thick. If it gets too thin it will rip.
Line a cookie tray with parchment paper. Once the dough is rolled out transfer it to the parchment paper. Put the rolled out crust back in the refrigerator to keep it cold until you have the fruit prepared (or prepare the fruit before you roll out the dough).
In a food processor crumb butter cookies or amaretto cookies and spread a thin layer over the crust. For an apple tart take 5-6 large apples, preferably Granny Smith, and peel, core and thinly slice them. Toss the apples in lemon juice in a bowl. Arrange the apple slices attractively on the crust, working from the outside in. Leave the outside 1-1 ½ inches of crust uncovered by fruit. Sprinkle the apples with ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Fold over the edges of the crust. The edge of the crust can be pleated if you desire. Brush the edges of the crust with the egg white. Take a little bit more sugar and sprinkle over the edge of the crust.
Using a glaze is optional. If you want the tart to be shiny you’ll need to prepare a glaze. Heat ¼ cup jam or jelly in a small saucepan over low heat. It will liquefy quickly. If it is too thick add a little Courvoisier to thin it out. If you used jam, use a spoon to remove the large chunks of fruit. Using a pastry brush spread the glaze over the fruit and the crust.
Bake the tart for 35 to 45 minutes. It sometimes takes a full hour. It should be a dark golden color. Wait until it is cool to slice it.