Recipe of the month: Apple Tart from Normandy [fr]
Normandy’s fertile terroir and abundant crops, its easy access to the Channel’s seafood have greatly influenced the region’s cuisine. Normans are all lovers of good food, and their favorite dishes showcase locally available ingredients beautifully.
Apples are the stars of Norman cooking, and a key ingredient in desserts, but also in cider, and in Calvados, the local liqueur. In Normandy, people traditionally have “trou normand”, and drink a small glass of Calvados in the middle of a meal, to stimulate their appetite. Pommeau, a blend of cider and Calvados has become increasingly available abroad.
As its name indicates, the “Tarte Normande”, a dessert made with apples and Calvados, is typical of the region. The secret for a flavorful tart lies in the quality of the apples you use. If they are of good quality, they won’t fall apart during the baking and will caramelize nicely. Here is a simple, easy-to-make recipe that you can pair with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
90g confectioners’ sugar
30g almond meal
18g granulated sugar
½ vanilla pod
1 tbsp. Calvados
2 mid-size Golden apples
5g granulated sugar
2 tbsp. Calvados
Juice of one lemon
Sift the flour. Soften the butter to avoid over-kneading the dough. Combine it with the confectioners’ sugar, the almond meal and the egg. Once the dough is homogenous, add the sifted flour. Roll the dough into a ball, cover it with saran wrap and reserve for 12 hours in the refrigerator.
Butter a 5.5 inch diameter pie dish. Roll out the dough until it is 3 millimeters thick and garnish the pie dish. Put the dish in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 320°F. Bake the crust and set aside.
Break the egg into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, slice the vanilla pod open and collect the grains with a knife and add to the mixture. Mix in the cream, and then add the Calvados. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Wash and peel the apples. Sprinkle with a little lemon juice, and then dice them. Melt the butter and sugar in a pan. Add the apples and sauté for a few minutes. Add a little Calvados. Remove the apples from the pan and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 360°F. Garnish the crust with the sautéed apples, and cover with the cream. Bake for 15 minutes. Using a knife, check that the tart is done: the blade should come out without a trace of humidity. Set the tart aside on a grate, and sprinkle it with confectioners’ sugar.
I would like to pay tribute to Chef Alain Senderens, who passed away recently.
A three-star Michelin Chef for 28 years in Paris, Alain Senderens helped shape “Nouvelle Cuisine”.
“Like literature, isn’t the “palate science” so dear to Michel Montaigne knowledge, technical feeling, art, and a quest for harmony and wisdom all at once?”
Chef Alain Senderens (December 2, 1939 – June 25, 2017)
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