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CREAMY APPLE TART

Ingredients for an 11 inch tart shell

Pate brisee sucree:

1-1/3 cups unbleached flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter

2-4 tablespoons iced water

Filling:

3 medium golden delicious apples (1-1/4 pounds)

1 large egg + 1 yolk

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2/3 cup creme fraiche or whipping cream

2 tablespoons dark rum or Calvados (apple brandy)

3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Directions:

Pastry Shell:

Combine and mix flour, salt, and sugar.  Cut butter into pieces the size of a teaspoon, and blend into a mealy texture with fingertips, mixer paddle or pulsing in a food processor.

Pour on 2 tablespoons cold water and smear by hand, beat in a mixer or process until the dough begins to ball.  Add another tablespoon of water if necessary.  Work into a cohesive ball flattening and flatten into a disk; flour lightly on both sides; wrap airtight; and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Rolling:

Roll dough out on a cool, lightly floured work surface working from the center of the dough outward in a circle.  Turn and lightly flour the dough occasionally if it threatens to stick.

When the dough circle exceeds the circumference of the tart pan by an inch, fold it lightly in quarters and lift it into the pan.  Unfold and fit it evenly into pan bottom and sides pushing excess dough down from the sides rather than stretching the dough from the center.  Fold excess dough into the sides for double thickness. Prick the bottom, cover, and chill for 30 minutes.

Baking:

Preheat the oven to 400.  Weight the chilled shell with dry beans on parchment or wax paper and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the weight, and continue baking 10 minutes or until the shell is lightly brown.

Glaze the bottom of the shell with thinned egg yolk, jelly, or jam and return to the hot oven for another 2 minutes to dry.  Cool on a wire rack.

Filling:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Peel, quarter, and core the apples.  Cut each quarter into four or five thin wedges and arrange these in overlapping concentric circles in the prebaked and cooled tart shell.

Break the eggs into a small mixing bowl.  Whisk in the sugar, cream, and rum or brandy.  Pour this custard over the apples and bake until the filling is lightly set, about 30 minutes.

Let the tart cool to lukewarm.  Dust it with confectioners' sugar before serving warm or at room temperature.