Julia’s Apple Cream Tart

I found this recipe in Dishing Up Maine by Brooke Dojny. I’m pretty sure that the original came from Julia Child. I made it one fall for a Soup and Pie Social at the Palermo Library. Several people came up to me and raved about the tart wanting to know what was it that made it so delicious. I tried to give the credit to the cream in the filling although I am pretty sure it was the rum. Whatever the reason, it was the first dessert to disappear that day.

(Serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

Sweet Short Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 Tbs sugar

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 5 Tbs cold butter, cut into 5 pieces

  • 3 Tbs cold vegetable shortening, cut into 3 chunks

  • 4 Tbs ice water

Apple Cream Filling

  • 3 cups apples (about 1 pound), cored and sliced

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 egg

  • 3 Tbs all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup light cream

  • 1 Tbs rum or cognac

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • Powdered sugar

Directions:

Crust: Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor, and pulse to blend. Add the butter and shortening, and pulse again until the shortening is about the size of small peas. Drizzle the water through the feed tube, and pulse until the pastry begins to clump together. Turn out onto a sheet of wax paper, flatten into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (To make by hand, whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl, work in the cold butter and shortening with your fingertips, add the water, and stir with a large fork to make a soft dough.)

Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface, working from the center in all directions until you have an 11-inch round. Fold the dough in half, and ease it into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom with the fold in the center. Unfold the dough, press it against the sides of the pan, and trim the edges. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Press a sheet of foil into the bottom of the tart shell. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue to bake for 5-8 minutes, until it is pale golden. If the pastry starts to puff up, press the bottom gently with a large spatula or oven-mitted hand to flatten. Fill immediately or cool on a rack. If proceeding immediately, leave the oven temperature at 375°.

Filling: In a large bowl, toss the apples with 1/3 cup of the sugar and the cinnamon, and spread this into the bottom of the tart shell. Bake until the apples begin to color and are almost tender, 20-25 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven.

Reduce the oven heat to 350°.

Whisk together the egg and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a medium-sized bowl until well-blended. Whisk in the flour, then the cream, rum and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the hot apples in the tart pan. Return the tart to the oven.

Bake until the top is pale golden and a knife inserted part way to the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with the powdered sugar before serving.