Monday, December 19, 2005

Apple Tart in Los Angeles

Yet another classic: la tarte aux pommes!

We're just back from Los Angeles where we've spent 3 days with our friends Mike and Failop, as a warm and cosy "pre-vacation" (we're leaving tonight for France where we surely will experience another climate!). On Friday night we all cooked dinner together. Mike prepared a sweet and velvety butternut squash soup (with pears and cream). Failop cooked a juicy pork tenderloin with herbs and potatoes, served with roasted aspargus. Pierre and I baked an apple tart. There are so many French bakeries around Mike and Failop's apartment in Westwood that we had been salivating all day thinking of a nice pastry for our sweet tooth. It was simple enough to satisfy our craving. Here is how the recipe goes:

  • 1 pâte brisée pie crust (see my recipe)
  • 3 to 5 juicy apples depending on their size (we used 5 small organic Cameo apples this time)
  • For the custard:
    • 1 whole egg
    • about 3 tablespoons sugar
    • about 1 cup milk
  • Some sugar (1 or 2 tablespoons) to sprinkle on the top
  1. Roll out the pie crust on a tart dish (buttered or lined with parchment paper).
  2. Peel the apples and remove the core. Slice them in thin wedges. Place them on the pie crust in a spiral on in concentrical circles, starting from the edge of the crust and going inward, the thicker side of the wedges facing up.
  3. Prepare the custard: beat the whole egg with the sugar. Add the milk and beat well.
  4. Pour this mix on the apples. Sprinkle with sugar.
  5. Bake 30 to 45 minutes at 360F.

There was some pie crust left... We had foreseen this and bought some raclette cheese, a Swiss cheese perfect for melting. We cut the pie crust left overs in small rectangles (maybe 1"x3"), placed a smaller rectangle of cheese on top and rolled them together. After 10-15 minutes in the oven at 360F and 2 minutes under the broiler, we had delicious crispy snacks!

Now it's time to get on the plane and enjoy 2 1/2 weeks of chocolaty delicacies, home made marvels, restaurant creations, regional specialties.... I wish you all Happy Holidays and see you next year!


Ralph said...

Hey Estelle,

I was wondering if you had any good recipe for the frangipane, and a good suggestion of what we can do with it (galette des rois or something else like a tarte)... One of my best culinary memories from Paris that I would really like to make myself.

Btw, I really like your blog, and so far, I have never made something with your recipies that I couldn't qualify as excellent!

Thanks, and PLEASE keep up the great job!

Estelle said...

Hi Ralph,

Thanks so much for your support!

Frangipane is a custard ("crème pâtissière") with ground almonds. I'll try to post a recipe soon. I don't have one to share now... Then to make a "Galette des rois" simply spread the frangipane between to puff pastry shells and seal on the edges. Poke a few holes. Spread egg yolk on the upper shell to give the galette a nice golden color and bake (maybe 25-30 minutes at 380F).