This country-style apple tart is one of the easiest to make because of its free-form shape. To make the recipe even quicker when you're short on time, use ready-made pie crust dough for the pastry. The recipe calls for sweet Golden Delicious and tart Granny Smith apples, but you can use any type of apple or combination of apples that you like.
- For the Pastry:
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- 1/2 teaspoon fine lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice or more as desired
- For the Filling:
- 4 large Golden Delicious or Granny Smith
- apples (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Powdered sugar (optional)
Make the Pastry
- In a food processor: Process the flour and butter until coarse crumbs form. With the motor running, add the water, lemon zest and juice through the feed tube and process until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. By hand: Put the flour into a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir until the dough holds together.
- Gather the dough into a ball, flatten, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes or just until firm enough to roll out.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll the dough into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured surface. The edges can be uneven. Transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet.
Make the Tart
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Cut each apple in half from top to bottom. Remove the core and cut out stem and bud ends. Turn the halves cut sides down and slice thinly.
- Leaving a 2-inch border, arrange the apple slices in concentric circles from the outside toward the middle of the dough. In a small cup, mix the sugar and nutmeg. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples, then dot with butter. Fold the edges of the pastry over the apples.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F and continue baking until the apples are tender and the pastry is golden, about 35 minutes more. Slide the tart onto a wire rack to cool. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar.
• You can remove apple cores neatly and quickly with a melon baller. Then, using a small, sharp knife, cut wedges to remove stem and bud ends.
• For easy lifting of the pastry dough after you have rolled it out, gently roll up about half the dough on the rolling pin. Lift it to the cookie sheet, position it carefully and then unroll.
• Store the tart at room temperature on the day it is baked, then cover and refrigerate up to three days.