Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Epic Meal Time: Tarte aux Pommes gone Haute Couture

Here’s a good one, y’all, if you have about three hours of spare time. And limitless patience for fussiness. And a willingness to go blind from fiddling with paper-thin slices of apple!

But so worth it, because the visual impact is like whoa. You’re going to get sooo many likes when you Instagram it up! [Also, true story: when I first downloaded instagram, I had no idea that it made photos public. I thought it was only about using filters to get cool effects. Now two years later, I have nearly 300 pictures of my cat on instagram and all of my (27) followers must think I’m SUCH a loser. I’m now trying desperately to flood my feed with food pictures to balance it out. Hence this tart].

Okay, here’s what you need.
         2½ cups walnut pieces 
         4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
         2 tablespoons granulated sugar
         1 egg white
-       ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

         ¼ cup cornstarch
         ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
         1 cup heavy cream
         ½ cup milk
         ½ cup pure maple syrup
         2 teaspoons vanilla extract
         4 eggs

A good 8-10 apples with a pretty skin that will simulate rose petals (so red delicious, obvs, even though they are not the most flavourful of the bunch. They will look the best).
Slice them paper thin with a mandolin, then let them sit in lemony water so they don’t turn brown.

Make the crust by grinding up the nuts in a food processor until they are like bread crumbs. Combine with the butter, sugar, egg white, and salt and try to get a doughy consistency. Apparently this is a gluten free recipe, but my crust was too loose so I added flour. Also I think that gluten allergies are fake, so I paid no mind. Press the walnut dough into your spring-form tart pan and bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

Make your custard by heating the cornstarch, salt, cream, and milk over medium heat and whisking. Add the maple and vanilla and keep whisking, making sure to scrape the pot. In a separate bowl, crack the four eggs and ladle a spoonful of the hot cream over the eggs and whisk vigorously. Add more cream to the eggs until they’re hot, and then add the egg mixture back into the cream pot (confusing, but necessary). Bring it up to a medium boil and whisk constantly until it starts to thicken considerably, then remove from heat. Strain the custard through a sieve, into a bowl, and then chill.

When the custard is chilled, spread it into the tart shell. You’re ready to make some roses now. The key is to microwave (or blanche) your slices to make them more pliable. I found 55 seconds to be about right. Roll the slices tightly to simulate a rosebud, and stand it up in the custard. Add other slices in circles around the buds to look like petals. You will likely find yourself slicing, trimming, and wasting apple like there’s no tomorrow. It must be done.

You can also brush the whole affair with a glaze of apricot jelly and lemon juice to keep it from browning, and I suggest that you do. Because once you’re done with this tart, god help the person that cuts into it. It’s just too pretty to eat.

This one's from Pinterest…..
And this one's mine! Not too shabby!

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