Thursday, February 9, 2012

Apple and Pear Tarte à la française

This is more of a method post. I was reading a french cookbook and this is just one step further than a fruit tarte, and I'm kind of in love. It means taking an apple tarte, and adding a cream, egg mixture overtop halfway through baking, which this cookbook apparently calls "à la française." The egg-cream mixture baked on top adds an almost pudding-like layer but because it is so thin, it retains the refined feeling of an apple tart for desert. The consistency makes it a bit more substantial than just the fruit and crust of an apple tarte. I added the pears because we bought too many and they're going bad. I will now do so every single time I bake apple anything.

1 crust
1 apple
1 pear

1 egg
a big scoop of a cream: crème fraiche, greek yogurt, marscapone, cream cheese, or maybe even sour cream if you like tart tarts
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla (optional, to make it killer)
a couple spoonfuls of almond powder/flour (ditto on the optional)

Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF

Butter your mold and prepare the crust. Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of the crust so
it won't puff up too much.

Thinly slice your fruit and lay it in the crust only one layer thick. The french do this really beautifully in a spiral... but that's too much work. I call this art.

Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat together the egg, cream, and sugar (plus the vanilla and almond powder until
smooth, if you're using them). No fancy mixer necessary, a fork and bowl will do fine. Pour this over the tart and put it back in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until it browns a bit.

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