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Apple & Almond Tart




I was blessed to grow up on a vineyard with a small apple orchard.  I recently took a trip home to my mom & dad's and scored this bucket of apple loot.  Look at them!  They're perfect! 
Apple & Almond Tart with Orchard Fresh Apples


This is probably one of my favorite deserts.  Ever.  The rich filling is perfect paired with tart apples or flavorful pears.  The almonds add the right amount of crunch without being overwhelming, and it makes a pretty darn impressive presentation with the perfectly arranged apples (maybe not my apples, but sometimes it is prettier!). The sweet pastry crust made with butter simply melts in your mouth.  This whole tart melts in your mouth!

Ingredients

Three large pears, three large apples, or one can pear halves

Crust

1/3 cup sugar1/4 teaspoon salt9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature1 large egg yolk1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Almond Filling

2/3 cup slivered/roughly chopped almonds1 tablespoon all purpose flour7 tablespoons sugar6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature2 large eggs



Preparation


Crust: Blend powdered sugar and butter until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Mix in egg yolk. Add flour. Using on/off turns, blend until dough comes together in clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Filling: Mix almonds, sugar, and butter, blending until mixed and almonds have been chopped a little. Mix in egg.
Press dough in to bottom of a 9 in tart pan (preferably one with a removable bottom). Bake in a 375°F oven until lightly browned on the edges. 

Spread almond filling evenly in crust. 

Stem pears or core apples and cut each in half lengthwise; scoop out cores. Cut each half crosswise into thin slices. Line slices in pan starting with the outermost circle and working your way inward, overlapping the slices. 

Bake tart until golden and tester inserted into center of filling comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool tart in pan on rack. Push pan bottom up, releasing tart from pan. (Can be made ahead. Let cool until room temperature, then wrap and refrigerate.) Cut tart into wedges; sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve.



Moral of the Story:  Butter = Yum.