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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

When a dessert is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palette, it is the crowning glory of a meal. While a pie can be utterly delicious and satisfying, there is something infinitely more alluring about a beautifully arranged apple tart, shimmering with apricot preserves. When I photographed this tarte, I recalled a recent conversation with a brilliant cellist whom I met in mid December after a performance of the Brandenburg concertos. While I was fascinated and impressed by such virtuosity, he was likewise intrigued with my photos of desserts. He remarked that such close shots of shimmering glazes and glittering brittles seem to invite the viewer to just take a bite. And he is 100% right. But don’t eat that smart phone; I’ll give you the recipe. So here is this week’s feature, dedicated to Li-Wei Qin: The Brandenburg Tarte Aux Pommes.

What You Need:

Tarte pan or a pie plate

Your favorite recipe for a flakey pie crust, a pre-made crust, or the recipe I provide below

Large non-stick skillet

Small, heavy bottomed saucepan

1/3 C butter

6 large Rome apples

1/3 C sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

4 Golden Delicious apples

1 C water

Juice of 1 lemon

1 T. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 egg

3-4 T heavy cream

About 1 C apricot preserves

What To Do:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut the Rome apples into eighths. Melt the butter in the skillet and add the Rome apple slices. Cover and cook, being careful not to burn the pieces or the butter, until the apples are soft. Add the sugar and vanilla. Using a wooden spatula, break the apples into smaller pieces and allow to cool slightly. Pour into the pie shell or tarte shell. Wipe the skillet clean.

In the non-stick skillet, blend the water with the lemon juice. Cut the Golden Delicious apples into very thin pieces and immerse into the lemon water. Cook for about five minutes or until the apple slices are just slightly tender. Remove the apple slices from the water and drain on paper towels. Arrange the slices on top of the Rome apple mixture, fanning them out like flower petals and filling in the spaces with smaller pieces of apple. (See photo.) Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar.

Beat the cream with the egg and pour over the tarte. Bake for 20 minutes, longer if the filling has not set.

In the heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the apricot preserves. Spoon the melted preserves over the tarte. Allow the tarte to cool completely before serving.

Tarte Pastry Shell Recipe:

What You Need:

Large bowl

2 large sheets of waxed paper

Rolling pin

2 C flour

2 T. sugar

½ stick sweet butter, slightly softened

The rind of ½ lemon, finely grated

2 egg yolks

½ tsp. salt

Dash of water

What To Do:

Place the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the remaining ingredients. Using the tips of your fingers and working quickly, make a smooth ball of paste. When the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, place the dough in plastic wrap and chill until it is firm enough to roll out between the two pieces of waxed paper. When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 350°. Roll the dough into a circle that will fit across your pie pan or tarte pan. Bake until lightly browned, approximately 20 minutes.

By Lisa Reitman Dobi