Once a year some of my lady friends and I get together for a Christmas outing. Each year we try to do something fun and new. Last Christmas we went to a cooking class hosted by the Culinary Center in Lincoln City, Oregon. Since this was pre-Covid we got an awesome hands-on cooking class and afterwards got to sit down and enjoy our feast. The dessert course was a pear tart that is the inspiration for today’s recipe.
I decided to switch from pear to apple because somehow — for my taste at least — I think apple would work even better. Apples are a bit crispier than pears, and when paired with cinnamon, apple is hard to beat in this type of dessert.
For this filling you need almond paste. It can be a bit pricey and hard to find, so I made it myself using this recipe and some sliced almonds I had on hand. It’s easy to make so don’t be afraid to! If you do make it yourself, try substituting vanilla extract in place of almond extract. It’s easy to overpower the tart with almond if you use a traditional almond paste made with almond extract. If you make this at home, you can make a batch or two and freeze it for future use. Of course, store-bought almond paste will also work.
This is truly a wonderful tart with its flaky crust, almond filling, and cinnamon-flavored apple. It’s a well-balanced sweetness — just right to go with a mug of coffee or tea. This apple tart can be served on its own or with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream. Try this for your next holiday or social gathering as a special treat!
- 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds or slivered, no skin
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
- 1 extra large egg white (lightly beaten, at room temperature)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup ice water
- 2 extra large apple, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 8 oz. almond paste (1 cup)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 6 tbsp. butter, divided
- 2 extra large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray an 11-inch tart pan with non-stick cooking spray lightly and set aside.
Place the almonds and a 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar in a large food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process the nuts and sugar until the nuts are finely ground, stopping in between to scrape the sides of the processor bowl. Make sure not to over process.
Once the almonds are finely ground, as seen above on the right, add the rest of the powdered sugar and pulse until it is completely mixed into the ground almonds.
Stop the processor, then add an egg white and vanilla extract. Process the almond paste until it comes together to form a clump. In small amounts, add more powdered sugar if the dough seems sticky. Process until it is smooth.
Wrap the paste into a log (seen below) using plastic wrap. Keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to use or keep it in the freezer wrapping tightly in a zip lock freezer bag.
Make this a day or two before you make the tart. This makes about 2 cups of almond paste and you will only be using 1 cup for the tart recipe. You can freeze this and save for another recipe or make another tart.
Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor for a few seconds.
Next, add butter and pulse until the mixture becomes crumbly and resembles coarse meal, seen below on the right. This will take about 15 pulses. Add oil and pulse 5 more times.
Add water and pulse until the dough resembles large crumbs and starts to come together, seen below on the left. Transfer the crumbs to a mixing bowl. Working with your hand, gently form this mixture into a ball. Make the ball into a disk, wrap, and chill in the refrigerator.
Roll the dough out in between two sheets of waxed paper to fit an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Chill in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Transfer apple slices to a large bowl. Sprinkle cinnamon and lemon juice over the apple slices. Gently mix all ingredients together, making sure to keep the apple slices together. Set aside.
In a food processor, blend your almond paste and sugar until almond the paste is finely ground.
Add flour and 4 tbsp. of butter (cut into cubes) to the finely ground almond. Process until it forms into a thick paste, seen below on the right.
Add eggs and vanilla extract and process until smooth.
Spread this mixture in the tart crust. Arrange apple slices over the tart filling. Place tart on a large cookie sheet.
Bake the tart for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees. Melt 2 tbsp. of butter and brush melted butter over the top of tart. Bake for another 20 minutes until the apples are tender and the crust is brown. Cool for 30 minutes, then sprinkle powdered sugar if you prefer. Remove from the pan and serve with ice-cream or whipped cream!
Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram