This delicious rustic apple tart isn’t complicated to make yet looks exquisite, vintage with an obvious touch of love behind. Impress your loved ones with this delicious apple tart, accompanied by the fragrance of cinnamon, an extremely flaky and delicious pie crust, and praises that will soon follow.
Lo, and behold! The rustic apple tart in all its glory.
I might sound like I am exaggerating all its goodness, but trust me when I say I am not ( okay irony here )! That’s because I am going to give you reasons why this is worth your time and effort, and when you make it, you can thank me later! Fun fact, i took just 2 minutes to gobbled half the tart because IT WAS THAT GOOD!
Let’s look first at the appearance. It comes with a really nicely browned, ready to crumble crust, enveloping all that delicious thin slices of apple.
Within, although not obvious, but you will be able to see it if you’re looking into it, is a nice bubbly concoction of the delicious juice that came out from these beautiful apples, mixed with some of the sugar and cinnamon we tossed the apples in. All these are yours to achieve eventually, so read on into the post!
Honestly too, this is the hard work after several attempts of creating the recipe for a flaky and crispy crust! I hope you will appreciate it, and try it too! Here’s how it looks like as a whole, with me showing off the interiors of my house!
First of all, the crust!
This tart or pie crust is extremely crispy and flaky, yet nicely thickened. It just crumbles and melts in your mouth effortlessly. I didn’t even need extra time to chew! I achieve this through three extra ingredients that you most probably already have in your kitchen! If you don’t, after baking this, you will probably start baking more pies with this crust so might as well go get it already!
I will attempt to sum it up into three sentences for an easy understanding!
I added an egg yolk. The extra fats make the crust even richer, inhibit gluten formation, and when baked, contributes to the brownness of the pie crust. Also, addition of cornstarch allows it to be flakier by substituting some of that gluten from the flour. Last but not least, the addition of cream of tartar further inhibits gluten formation. Its all about inhibiting gluten formation!
Okay I am sorry I cheated by using an extra line, but I hope you don’t mind that!
Following which, we brush the pie dough. With what you might ask ( and you should ask! ). With the remaining egg white mixed with milk. This gives a slight shiny finish and allows the pie crust to be nicely browned. I do this not just simply because I do not want to waste the egg white, but it really produces decent colouration. I even brushed the pie dough twice!
Next up, the filling!
This apple tart has a really sweet, tender apple filling, mixed with cinnamon ( which you can definitely omit if it’s not of your liking! ).
In order to achieve this, slice your apples thinly. This will allow it to fully cook through, and produce that nice golden brown colour. It will then, even be tender! You won’t even need to do much, just let the oven do all the work! Thanks, oven!
After slicing it thinly, we would want to perk up the flavours of the apples with just a little bit of sugar, and cinnamon. I always love the combination of apples and cinnamon, and as such I added quite a fair amount. You can easily adjust it according to your liking! In addition, the amount of sugar to add is up to you too! If you find your apples sufficiently sweet or just don’t like the addition of sugar, just skip it! If your apples are sour you should definitely go for more sugar!
Then, as the apple slices bake, the natural goodness of apple juice will flow out from these slices into the base of the pie crust, dissolving some of that delicious sugar and cinnamon, producing that nice concoction that we want. It will not wet the bottom of the pie crust at all, and if made well ( without holes ), it should not spill onto the baking tray which can potentially be a messy situation!
Last up, the assembly!
Assembly is always the last stage before baking! For here, we want to achieve that nice rustic, and carefree look of the pie.
In order to do so, you really can do whatever design and pattern you would like, or simply fold up the pie crust to the middle and envelope those delicious apples!
For me, I simply folded up mine. Fuss free yet beautiful! Do ensure that there are no holes though, or those delicious juices from the apples won’t be retained, and will even spill out to create a mess! Simply pinch the dough together to seal any holes, and if you still can’t seal them, wet your fingers and mold the dough slightly. Do ensure sufficient thickness or it might come off again!
You may also experiment with the pie crust however you desire, with whatever patterns you like!
I especially love using fruits in my baking because they provide this natural sweetness that nothing else can substitute, and it’s a good change from the usual rich treats we usually eat! You can of course fill the tart with other things of your liking, such as blueberries or chocolate ganache!
As usual with all my posts, this is a photo of the apple tart with no special lighting no nothing. Pure original photo, to show you what you will achieve, in pure honesty. It looks slightly bright here due to the natural sunlight from the merciless afternoon sun!
Speaking of the sun, if you’re living in a country with high temperatures, do try to work fast with your dough! The purpose of cutting in the butter to achieve that nice flakiness will be all gone if the dough is allowed to sit too long, as it will start melting! You might also want to cool the dough longer in the fridge ( about 10 minutes longer ). On a side note, this is extremely delightful to be eaten when refrigerated for consumption in the hot weather.
One last point: I know I have been using pie and tart shell interchangeably. This is because I feel that this crust is absolutely nice and can serve both as a pie and tart shell!
Overall Difficulty: 1 / 5 ( The only difficulty is transferring the fragile dough to a baking tray, but with sufficient patience, its shouldn’t be too difficult )
Time Taken: Less than 2 hours ( 50 minutes overall for cooling, 30 minutes preparation, 40 minutes in the oven ).
For the Pie / Tart Crust:
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons of caster sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar
- 1 egg yolk ( best directly out of the fridge )
- 3 tablespoons of water ( substitute 1 tablespoon of water with 1 tablespoon of lemon or orange juice if you don’t have cream of tartar )
- 1/2 cup of cold butter, cubed
For the filling:
- 2 large apples of your preference. I am using fuji apples! Remove the core, quarter them, and then slice them thinly. ( See notes why I chose 2 apples over 4 apples )
- 1 tablespoon of caster sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon ( optional )
- 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoons of milk
You will need some extra flour for flouring the surface you will be working on!
- Mix together the all purpose flour, cornstarch, caster sugar, ground cinnamon and salt and stir well.
- In a separate bowl, dissolve the cream of tartar in the water.
- Cut in the butter using a handheld pastry blender, two forks, or simply use a food processor. Do so until the mixture is composed of coarse crumbs, with no crumbs larger than the size of a pea.
- Mix a hole in the middle, and put the egg yolk along with the water with cream of tartar in. Start mixing, and you then move into your hands when it starts to form some clumps. Do not be tempted to add more water or the dough might become too sticky to work with. Look under Notes for the specific consistency.
- Shape into a ball and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the apples if you haven’t already done so.
- Toss the thinly sliced apples in the caster sugar and ground cinnamon.
- Mix together the egg white and milk to create the glaze.
- Take out the pie dough, and roll on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 12 inches in diameters. It doesn’t matter if the edges are uneven but you can trim it if you want to, or if you are attempting some designs.
- Carefully transfer the fragile dough to a baking tray either ungreased (which might result in some trouble in removing if its non stick ) or a baking tray lined with parchment paper ( i prefer this safer choice ).
- Place the apples in the center, leaving a 2 inch distance from the edges of the dough on all sides. This is to facilitate easy folding.
- Gather the dough on all sides. You can make patterns now if you would like to!
- Brush the pie dough with the egg white mixture using a pastry brush, and then refrigerate the assembled apple tart for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
- Bake the rustic apple tart for 15 minutes at 200 degrees C, and at the 15 minutes mark, lower the temperature to 180 degrees C and continue baking for about 33-37 more minutes, or until the shell is nicely browned and the apples are nicely browned as well.
- Cool for about 20 minutes, and then serve! Best eaten the day its made, but can a day more in the refrigerator.
1. I am using two apples here. I have tried using three and four apples, but I realized that the apple to crust ratio isn’t satisfactory for me. Also, when using four apples, there is a high chance that the juice from the apple will spill out onto the baking tray, and when cooked under that high temperature, makes a very nasty black mark all over the pie and the baking tray. I would say go for two, and three will be the maximum!
2. Here is the consistency you would want before adding the egg yolk and the water. I just noticed one of my butter lumps was really big, so ignore that clump please :p!:
3. You can simply use this pie crust for other recipes as well! You can start off here before proceeding to make more pies and tarts!
Bakeomaniac, Javier Tan