APPLE AND ALMOND TART

(Excerpted from “Flavorful” by Tish Boyle. Copyright © 2015 by Tish Boyle. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.)

I love this classic French tart. A buttery almond crust is filled with a very almond-y cream filling and then topped off with thin slices of apple crusted with brown sugar. Because it’s made with almonds, the tart dough is a little delicate to work with, but it can easily be patched, if necessary. The apricot glaze, brushed on after baking, makes this tart look like it came straight from a Paris patisserie.

Make one 11-inch tart, serving 10

Almond Tart Crust
3/4 cup (64 g/2.24 oz) unblanched sliced almonds
2 tablespoons (25 g/0.88 oz) granulated sugar
1 cup (132 g/4.6 oz) all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon (0.83 g/0.03 oz) salt
8 tablespoons (113 g/4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for at least 20 minutes
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons (30 g/1 oz) ice-cold water

Almond Cream and Apple Filling
Almond Cream (below)
2 medium (453 g/1 lb) Granny Smith apples
2 teaspoons (30 g/1 oz) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup firmly packed (54 g/1.9 oz) light brown sugar, divided

Garnish
1/3 cup (100 g/3.5 oz) apricot preserves
1/3 cup (28 g/1 oz) unblanched sliced almonds

Make the crust
1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the almonds and sugar until the nuts are finely ground. Add the flour and salt and pulse to combine. Add the butter and, using a fork, toss them with the flour until coated. Pulse the mixture until the butter pieces are about the size of small peas. In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk and water with a fork. Add the yolk mixture to the processor and pulse until the mixture just starts to come together. Transfer the dough to a work surface, gather together, and shape into a 5-inch disc. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling out. 
2. Place the unwrapped dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough to a 13-inch circle, lifting and rotating the dough often and dusting the work surface and dough lightly with flour as necessary. Roll the dough up on the rolling pin and unroll it over an 11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Roll the pin over the top of the pan to trim off the excess dough. Prick the bottom of the tart shell with a fork at 1/2-inch intervals. Refrigerate the tart shell for 30 minutes. 
3. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray the dull side of a 12-inch square of aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray. Line the tart shell with the foil, dull-side-down, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Carefully lift the foil (along with the weights) out of the tart pan and bake the crust for about 7 minutes longer, until the crust is just beginning to brown lightly. Leave the oven on. Transfer the tart pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. 
Fill the tart
4. Spread the Almond Cream into the cooled tart shell in an even layer. Refrigerate the tart while you prepare the apple filling. 
Prepare the filling and bake the tart
5. Peel and core the apples and cut them in half. Cut each half into 1/4-inch slices and place the slices in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the apples and toss to coat. Toss 3 tablespoons (40 g/1.4 oz) of the brown sugar with the apple slices. 
6. Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles over the almond cream in the tart, overlapping the slices slightly and covering the cream. Sprinkle the apples with the remaining 1 tablespoon (13.5 g/0.5 oz) brown sugar. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the filling and apples are nicely browned. Cool the tart in the pan set on a wire rack for 30 minutes. 
Garnish the tart
7. Place the apricot preserves in a heatproof glass measure and microwave on high power for about 30 seconds, or until bubbling. Strain the hot preserves through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Brush the strained apricot preserves over the top of the tart.
8. Cook the almonds in a skillet over medium heat, tossing or stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Cool completely. 
9. Sprinkle the top of the tart with the toasted almonds. Serve the tart at room temperature.

ALMOND CREAM
Also known as frangipane, baked almond cream makes a delicious filling for fruit tarts. It’s used in my Apple and Almond Tart and Raspberry Almond Tartlets. To create your own fruit tart, fill a fully baked tart shell with Almond Cream and bake at 350°F for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the filling comes out clean (bake tartlets 25 to 30 minutes). Allow the filling to cool and top it with slices of fresh fruit or berries. 

Makes about 2 cups

1 cup (85 g/3 oz) unblanched sliced almonds
1/2 cup (100 g/3.5 oz) granulated sugar, divided
7 tablespoons (100 g/3.5 oz) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs 
2 tablespoons (16 g/0.58 oz) all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon (5 g/0.17 oz) vanilla extract 
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon (15 g/0.5 oz) dark rum

1. In the bowl of a food processor, process the almonds and 2 tablespoons (25 g/0.88 oz) of the sugar until the nuts are finely ground. 
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and the remaining 6 tablespoons (75 g/2.6 oz) sugar together at medium speed until well combined and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the ground almonds and mix until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour, vanilla, salt, and rum and mix until combined. Store the unbaked almond cream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

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