What To Do with Apples

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Awhile ago I got a good deal on a bunch of Fuji apples from Costco. Or rather, it was a good deal… as long as you eat the apples. I did not and found myself with six past-their-prime apples this weekend. I decided to make an apple tart.
Fuji apples are not great baking apples, I admit. However, while they don’t stand up to Granny Smiths when cooked, I find that they are perfectly fine in their own right. Baked, Fujis are just a little softer and blander than other apples, more akin to pears.
To make the tart, I used two recipes off of JoyofBaking.com, their Sweet Pastry Crust and the French Apple Tart. I followed the recipe pretty much to the letter and was pleased with the results. The only thing I would change is the addition of cognac or rum to the apricot glaze–I found the alcohol overwhelmed the taste of the apples. Water would probably work best.
Here’s what I did.

JoyofBaking.com French Apple Tart:
Ingredients:

    Sweet Pastry Crust
    6 medium apples
    3 Tbs unsalted butter
    1/4 c sugar
    1/2 tsp lemon zest
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    Powdered (confectioners) Sugar for browning the top of the tart
    1/2 c apricot preserves
    1 Tbs water


Directions:

1. Bake the pastry crust according to the above instructions.
2. Before the crust comes out of the oven, you need to make the apricot glaze. To do that, heat the apricot jam until boiling, then strain all the extra. Finally, add 1 Tbs of water to the mix.
3. When the crust comes out of the oven, spread a layer of warm apricot glaze over the bottom and sides of the tart to seal it. Put the crust in the fridge to cool.
4. Peel and slice 6 apples into 1/4 slices, like so:

5. Divide the apples in two parts. Half is going to made into apple sauce for the bottom of the tart and half of it is going to be apple slices for the top.
6. Bottom apple sauce filling: Melt 1 Tbs butter in a pan, then add 2 Tbs sugar, the lemon zest, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. It makes a sugary, thick mush. Add apples to the pan and mix well. Let the apples cook on medium heat for 7-10 minutes until very soft. Using a potato masher, mash apples until they are apple sauce. Put into the fridge to cool.
7. Top apple filling: Melt 1 Tbs butter in a pan, then add 2 Tbs sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Add the remaining apples and cook through, about 5-7 minutes. Don’t mash this time. Put in the fridge and cool.
8. Preheat oven for 350 degrees. When the filling and crust is cooled, assemble the tart. First, spoon the apple sauce into the bottom and press down so that it fills the crust. Next, layer your apple slices in circles around the edge, like so:

When you’re done, it should make a pretty flower-like pattern, like this:

9. Cook tart in oven for 25-30 minutes until brown and soft.
10. But! We’re not done. We now have to brown the top of the apples. Remove the tart from the oven and turn on the broiler. Cover the sides of the crust with aluminum foil so that the edges won’t burn. Sprinkle the top of the tart with powdered sugar and then stick it in under the broiler. In about 4 minutes, you should have a nice, golden top.
11. Finally! Brush the top of the tart with the warm apricot glaze. Whew.

The resulting tart is well worth all the labor. It’s elegant and light and a wonderful breakfast or dessert. And a great use of all those Fujis.

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