Garland’s Apple Tart
This is sort of a basic Dutch apple tart but somehow we started calling it “Garland’s” to separate it from the classic double crust apple pie. It’s a communication thing between cooks.
Regarding shortening…We use shortening in our all purpose pie pastry for the flakiness and handling ability it gives. My preference is to use leaf lard for this with the butter, and I do sometimes when I’m making a double crust pie. However, with so many vegetarians and people with other special dietary needs coming as guests to the Lodge, I think it’s safer to use shortening. We now know that shortening, of course, contains unhealthful trans fats, so Crisco has come out with a “no trans fat” version. I’ve used it at the Lodge and used it for testing for this book. It works just fine. If you’re comfortable using all butter for pastry, by all means use it. It gives an entirely different crust and one that we use often for certain tarts or croustades, but not pies.
Total Timeunder 4 hours
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Taste and Texturebuttery, crisp, fruity, savory, sweet, tangy, tart
Type of Dishtart
- 3 cups all purpose unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in bits (6 ounces or 1 + ½ sticks)
- 10 tablespoons vegetable shortening (6 ounces; see Notes)
- ¼ cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 4 large cooking apples, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick (5 medium apples; Grannies, Jonathans, Romes, Macintoshs are good choices)
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup butter, cold, in cubes
Make the crust: Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl, whisk lightly to blend. Add butter and shortening, toss lightly to just coat the pieces, then cut in with pastry cutter until mixture appears like a very coarse meal. Some fat pieces will look like small beans.
Mix water and vinegar together, then sprinkle about 3 tablespoons over the mixture, toss together to blend. Add another tablespoon, toss together to form a ball. You may need more water to have this come together into a cohesive ball, just add it a tablespoon at a time. Your dough should hold together when pressed, and it’s better to not have it too dry. Form into 2 balls, flatten the balls into fattish discs, wrap and chill, at least 2 hours. This is necessary to rest and relax the gluten in the flour and completely chill all the fats in the mixture.
Make the filling: Whisk sour cream, sugar, flour, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and egg together until very smooth. Add apple slices to bowl, mix in gently and well, set aside while preparing the tart shell.
Prepare and bake the crust: Preheat oven to 375°. Divide dough into 2 pieces. Roll out one piece on a lightly floured surface to approximately an eighth to a quarter inch in thickness. Trim edges into a large circle. Fold dough in half gently, transfer to a 10-inch shallow fluted removable bottom tart pan. Place over half the pan, then unfold the dough, pressing in the bottom and sides to fit cleanly. With kitchen shears cut the excess edge of the dough, leaving a scant one-third inch above the rim of the pan. Simply fold this down slightly, so it sits on the edge of the pan. Place pan in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Take the other piece of dough, press it gently into a disc, wrap it very well and freeze for another use. Or you can roll it out now, fit it into a pie or tart pan, wrap and freeze for later.
Make the streusel: Combine flour and brown sugar in food processor. Pulse to blend. Add butter cubes, pulse to cut in butter until a coarse meal is formed. Transfer to a small bowl.
Take tart shell from the freezer. Spoon in the apples, spreading them evenly, then scrape in any additional sauce that’s left in the bowl.
Bake in the lower third of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling is just beginning to set. Pull from the oven and spread streusel over the apples, taking care to cover completely but within the rim of pastry. Place back in the oven, lower the temperature to 350° and continue baking until a lovely deep golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes more.
Cool on a rack for 30 minutes before cutting into 12 wedges. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
This tart can be made with pears with great results and I’ve also used peaches for a wonderful summer dessert. The pastry freezes very well. It’s really best to make a few batches, wrap in discs and freeze.
2006 Amanda N. Stine and Mary L. Garland