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sábado, 28 de agosto de 2010

Apple Tart Recipe

Recipe of the Week

Apple Tart  

This Apple Tart is a delicious combination of a shortbread crust, a cream cheese filling, slices of cinnamon-sugared apples, and a scattering of sliced almonds. This tart is so good warm from the oven, when the shortbread is nice and crisp, the filling is soft and creamy, and the slices of apple are warm and fragrant.

I love the flavor and texture of a shortbread crust. It is an easy crust to make as the ingredients are simply placed in your food processor and pulsed until clumps start to form. Then all you have to do is press it into a springform pan and then its on to making the cream cheese filling. Again, the filling is made in the food processor and its flavor will remind you of cheesecake, albeit a little softer. Once it is poured over the uncooked shortbread crust, slices of cinnamon-sugared apples are mounded on top. The finishing touch is sliced almonds. The tart is baked first in a very hot oven for 10 minutes and then the temperature is reduced. It is done when the crust has nicely browned, the filling is set, and the apples are tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. This tart is excellent warm from the oven, at room temperature, or even cold.

I like to use Granny Smith apples for this dessert because of their year round availability and their tart flavor and crisp texture. However, if you are lucky enough to live close to an apple orchard or farmer's market, be sure to try using other tart crisp apples. Some of my personal favorites are Mutsu Golden, Rome, Stayman Winesap, Jonagold or Jonathan. You can also try mixing two or three varieties of apples for a more complex flavor. 

Apple Tart: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.  Grease (or spray with Pam) a 9 inch (22 cm) springform pan.
Crust: In the bowl of your food processor place the flour and sugar. Pulse to blend together. Add butter and pulse until dough just begins to come together. Pat the dough onto the bottom and one inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator while you make the filling.
Filling: In a food processor process the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and mix well. Blend in the egg and vanilla extract and process until smooth. Remove the crust from the fridge and pour in the filling. Return to refrigerator while you prepare the topping.
Topping: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Toss the sliced apples in the sugar mixture. Spoon the apples evenly over the cream cheese layer and sprinkle with almonds. Place the springform pan on a larger baking sheet to catch the drips. 
Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown (apples are soft when pierced with a fork), and filling is almost set.   Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve at room temperature.  Leftovers can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. 
Makes 1 - 9 inch (22 cm) tart
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (35 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar 
1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
One 8-ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
4 cups (500 ml) Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch (.6 cm) slices (about 3-4 large apples)
1/3 cup (35 grams) sliced almonds

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