Monday, 14 April 2008
Tarte aux pommes
Yesterday, my family and I went to the antique and art show at Parc Monceau which is going on until the 20th. You have to go to at least one while in Paris. This particular one had everything from 18th century secretaries to modern steel and plastic living room furnishings. Jewelry included brown ball-shaped baubbles to rings and broaches imbedded with garnets and sapphires. There were rugs, paintings, statues and silverware for fine dining.
It was all rather interesting to look at, but what really caught my eye, the piece de resistance, was a mouth-watering tart. Occasionally the vendors would be eating while we perused their goods, and I passed up a man holding a gorgeous tart. I asked where he got it, and he smiled, saying "I made it myself." Seeing my drool, the man offered me a piece. For some STUPID reason, I decided to be polite and decline. I figured he was only being polite as I was STARING at the tart. (I was once offered a piece of leftover homemade carob avocado pie on the street in my hometown by a stranger (although I knew her friend) and I ate that- why did I say no NOW!)
Having just made a very foolish decision, I turned back around asked the man if he would tell me what the ingredients were so I could make it at home. He quite willingly gave me the secrets to the pie, and I recorded them in my mind. My mind which forgets most details, can be very sharp when concerning a good meal or treat.
Today I rounded up all the ingredients at Monoprix and started thinking about my tart. I made the tart while catching up with my sister-in-law, so this is approximately what I did, because we were having quite the good chat.
Take a pate brise (pie crust) and form it into bottom of a pan. A tart pan would be great, but lacking one, I used an oval glass pan. Not ideal, but will do.
Add heap of apples to the crust. The man at the fair recommended cutting the apple "into dice", which is sort of what I did. Spread heap around.
Make crumbly top: Add sugar (1/3 cup ?)to almost completely melted butter- about a third of a french rectangle of butter, add flour and a few pinches of cinnamon. You need to add enough flour so the crumble is crumbly, hint: more flour than sugar or butter. What should be added now is ground almonds, which I forgot and sprinkled on a the end while tarte was baking. Add to taste and texture. Once the crumble is lumpy and crumbly, sprinkle it on to the heap of apples.
Put tarte into oven at 180 C for a long while, and then realize it should be higher after about 20 minutes, so turn temp up to 200 C and let cook until it is remembered later during dinner that there's a tarte in the oven.
And thus, my little tart became a tarte. I daresay that it would rival the antique man's tarte. Our dinner guests might wonder why the tart is so small in the picture above. I'll just have to say that it looks smaller in a blog. It's all that technology that shrinks its appearance- downloading, uploading, etc.
If you want to try this at home, good luck. It was definitely more art than science, but the results were wonderful.