24 August 2010

APPLE CREAM TART

This one comes from Philadelphia, USA. I came across it one day while planning a Thanksgiving Day menu in Canada. It was a sure hit, and I'm always asked for the recipe.

PASTRY CREAM:
1¾ cups half and half (evaporated milk, or half whole milk and half cream)
¾ cup sugar
5 tablespoons all purpose flour (cake flour)
5 large eggs, yolks only
2½ tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Bring half and half to simmer in heavy medium saucepan.
Remove from heat.
Stir ¾ cup sugar and 5 tablespoons flour in large bowl to blend.
Add egg yolks and whisk until well blended.
Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture.
Return mixture to saucepan, stirring over medium heat until mixture boils and is very thick, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Add 2½ tablespoons butter and whisk until melted.
Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
Transfer pastry cream to a large bowl.
Lightly press clingwrap plastic onto surface of pastry cream, refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.

CRUST:
1½ cups all purpose flour (cake flour)
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
½ (1 stick, or 125 grams) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons cold water

Combine 1½ cups flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and pinch of salt in processor.
Add ½ cup butter and cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add water by tablespoonfuls and process until moist clumps form.
Gather dough into ball, flatten into round shape.
Wrap in clingwrap plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to round shape to fit over the top of pie pan with removable bottom.
Fold overhang dough in to form double-thick sides, press into bottom.
Freeze crust for 15 minutes.
Line pie crust with aluminum foil, fill with dried beans or pie weights.
Bake until set, about 15 minutes.
Remove foil and beans / weights, and bake until pale golden, about 20 minutes.
Transfer pie pan to rack and leave to cool completely.

TOPPING:
2 large Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C
Spoon pastry cream into crust, smooth top.
Arrange apples over pastry cream.
Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon in small bowl.
Sprinkle over apples.
Bake until apples are tender and filling is set, about 45 minutes.
Transfer pan to rack and cool completely.
Decorate with whipped cream.
Makes 10 to 12 servings