Yield
Makes one 14- to 16-inch tart, serving 10 to 14
Time
45 minutes prep, 20-25 minutes cooking, Roughly 1 1/2 hours total
So much easier than apple pie and so much lighter, this tart will not be overkill after a celebration meal. It’s not the same-old, same-old apple pie. The tart’s rosemary leaves and lemon sugar (the trick of rubbing shredded rind into sugar) flavoring the apple slices, then a finish of cinnamon and olive oil sets it far apart from the usual. The best part is that because the tart’s so thin and crisp-crusted, you can bake it a day ahead and lightly warm the tart in the oven before serving.

Cook to Cook: An idea to keep at the back of your mind is to take the dry ingredients of any pie crust recipe and put them in a plastic bag along with the butter or shortening called for. Freeze until needed and then, without defrosting, put the mix in a food processor and continue the recipe. This way you have crust set up and ready to go anytime you need it.

Ingredients

Pastry:

  • 1-1/2 cups (7.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour (preferably organic), measured by dipping and leveling
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 -1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chunks

Note: You can assemble the crust ingredients ahead to this point and freeze in a freezer bag until ready to make the tart.

  • 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

Topping:

  • 2 large apples (preferably organic), peeled, cored and cut into 1/8” slices
  • 1/3 cup sugar, or to taste, depending on the tartness of the apples
  • Shredded zest of 1/4 of a large lemon
  • 2 teaspoons lightly packed fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • About 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Instructions

1. To make the pastry, turn the contents of the freezer bag into a food processor. With 2 to 3 rapid pulses in the processor, mix until the butter is in 1/2-inch or so pieces. Sprinkle on the 4 tablespoons of water. Pulse 3 times. If dough is dry, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of ice water, and pulse only until the dough gathers in clumps. Wrap and chill the dough 30 minutes to 2 days.

2. When ready to make the tart, butter a 14- to 16-inch pizza pan (mine has small holes on the bottom to insure crisping). Roll out the dough on a floured board to an extremely thin 17-inch round. Place on the pan. Don’t trim the excess pastry – roll it over toward the center of the pie so you have a rough rim. Refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight.

3. To make the lemon sugar, put the sugar in a medium mixing bowl, then grate the zest of the 1/4 lemon over it. With your fingertips, rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is thoroughly aromatic.

4. Set an oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the oven to 500°F. Take the pizza pan with the dough out of the refrigerator. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Arrange the slices so the pieces do not touch and they are in 3 to 4 circles on the crust. Sprinkle with the lemon sugar, the rosemary leaves (crush these a bit between your fingers as you sprinkle them over the tart). Sprinkle on the cinnamon and the salt, then the olive oil.

5 Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the apples are speckled golden brown, the sugar is melted, and the crust is crisp. Cover the crust’s rim with foil if it browns too quickly. Remove the tart from the oven and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Once baked, the tart can stand at room temperature overnight. To reheat, slip into a 350°F oven for 5 minutes or so.

Copyright © Lynne Rossetto Kasper, 2010