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Ginny Tapper’s Fuji Apple Tart

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This recipe marries a little bit of Wisconsin with a little bit of Tokyo via my friend Matthew Congdon, a sweater designer for the Japanese brand Uniqlo. We met almost eight years ago, when I was designing shoes and he was designing sweaters at J. Crew, and we’ve been friends ever since. An excellent baker, Matthew is the only person I know who can carry on a forty-five minute conversation about red-velvet cake and the latest macaroon flavors sold in the 7-Eleven store in Tokyo. He’s a world traveler and a sweet-toothed foodie, trying all kinds of experimental treats and telling me about them in detail. Matthew started baking as a baby with his grandma, Virginia Tapper, who lived in Wisconsin. At her recent funeral, a picture was displayed of Matthew at four years old, holding a pumpkin pie with Virginia in her kitchen. In honor of her and the love of baking she instilled in him, Matthew shares with us her apple tart, which he’s updated here with organic Fuji apples from upstate New York. Although the recipe looks as if it takes hours to make, it’s actually quick and easy. (Matthew sometimes even bakes two at a time, bringing one in to work to make his coworkers swoon.)

Cooking Methodbaking

CostSplurge

Moderate

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationkosher, peanut free, soy free, vegetarian

Equipmentelectric mixer

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturebuttery, creamy, crisp, fruity, nutty, rich, spiced, sweet, tangy

Type of Dishdessert, tart

Ingredients

  • ½ stick (¼ cup) organic unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
  • ½ teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup organic all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup organic almond flour (ground almonds without the skins)
  • 8 ounces organic cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 organic egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 3 or 4 medium organic Fuji apples
  • ¼ cup organic cane sugar
  • ½ teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon brandy

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 370°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and set aside.

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla.

Add the flours to the butter mixture, and mix on low speed until combined.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared tart pan and press in evenly over the bottom and sides.

Make the custard filling: In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Pour the filling into the tart shell.

Make the apple topping: Peel, core, and finely slice the apples. (I like to slice the apples by hand, but Matthew’s grandma admitted to using a mandoline.) Toss in a bowl with the sugar and cinnamon.

Arrange the apple slices in a single overlapping layer around the outer edge of the tart. Then make an apple rose center by arranging slices, on their edges, in the custard, overlapping, in a circle until completely filled in.

Bake the tart for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the filling has puffed up and the apples’ edges have browned. Let cool.

Melt the marmalade with the brandy in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until smooth. Strain the mixture into a small bowl, and apply it to the apples with a pastry brush.

Store the tart, well wrapped, in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature for serving.

To serve, carefully remove the sides of the tart pan and place the tart on an elegant serving plate.

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