It’s true what they say, you know. About sugar and hyperactivity. At least it’s true for me. A sample size of 1, but still I’m fairly certain of the connection. … more
It’s true what they say, you know. About sugar and hyperactivity. At least it’s true for me. A sample size of 1, but still I’m fairly certain of the connection. Apple crisp, fritters, and tartlets with custard filling. Need I say more? Then came Monday. You know what happened on Monday. So I’m kinda jacked up over here.
I thinking about dialing it back a bit. I’m a little nervous that you may give me the heisman if I don’t lay on the sugar. What do you think? Just this once?
I say we throw on some classical music, if you’re into that sort of thing (I have tried really I have, but that stuff still bores me silly – for me, it’s Morning Song by Jewel all the way). Put on our bunny slippers, ignore the dishes in the sink. Put the kids to bed, and turn off our phones and stare soulfully into each other’s eyes. This savory apple tart is just what we lovers need.
The apples and onions simmer down really nice and sweet in that savory way, warm and slow with subtle layers of flavor.*UPDATE: If you’re not so keen on straight-up onions, leeks are a great, mellow substitute.* A flaky layer of pastry on the bottom (which you can actually ditch altogether if you want to make this super simple), and a creamy toasty layer of cheese and cream on top — we’ve got everything we need for a delicate brunch or the perfect light dinner.
Totally hot, right? I’m totally into you. Can you tell?
Here’s what we’ll do. If you’re using a crust, we’ll throw together a super simple one ahead of time, made with little more than butter, all-purpose GF flour and water. Let that chill for as long as you can. At least an hour is best, but if you can’t swing it, it may not be really flaky, but it will still taste delightful. When the crust is chilled, roll it out, pierce the bottom all over with a fork, and then stick it in the freezer while you make the filling.
Slice some red and yellow onions (or leeks), peel core and slice some apples (pears would work well, too), and cook them down in a bit of oil until they’re very soft. Puree half of the mixture. Spread the puree in the bottom of the pie shell, top with the rest of the apples and onions, and then dot with a few pieces of butter. Make a mixture of flour, finely grated Parmesan cheese, eggs and cream, and blend it well. Pour the cream mixture over the top of the apples. Bake the tart for about 35 minutes, until the crust is browned and the filling is set.
Or you can go all mini, like I did up top.
By the way, what is that fringed thingie that stuck into the bottom of the fill ‘er up photo just above? I’ve been staring at that for, like, a really long time, and I still can’t suss it out. Any ideas? I’m comin’ up totally empty.
- FOR THE CRUST
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter)
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in a large dice and kept chilled
- ¼ to ½ cup water, iced
- FOR THE FILLING
- 3 large (or 4 medium) crisp apples
- 1 medium yellow onion + 1 medium red onion (can substitute 2 leeks sliced in cross-section)
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (again, I use Better Batter)
- ⅓ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup heavy cream
- To make the crust, in the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, xanthan gum and salt until well combined. Add the cold butter, and pulse a few times until the butter seems evenly distributed in the flour, but not in small pieces. Add ¼ cup ice water, and pulse a few times until the mixture just begins to come together. Add more ice water by the tablespoon if necessary to bring some of the dough together. Dump the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface, gather together into a disk, and cover in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or in the freezer for about 30 minutes until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease well a 9 or 10 inch tart pan or pie plate, and set it aside.
- Peel and core the apples, then slice them thinly in cross-section. Peel the onions, chop off the ends, and slice them the same way as the apples (in about the same size) (or clean the leeks and slice them thinly in cross-section).
- In a large saucepan, saute the apples and onions (or leeks) in the oil – seasoned to taste with salt and pepper – uncovered and over medium heat for about 5 or 6 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft and considerably reduced (about 10 minutes). Remove from the heat, puree half the mixture, and set it all aside to cool to room temperature.
- Place the chilled crust on the counter between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll into a round about 10 or 11 inches, and about ⅛ inch thick. Return to the refrigerator or freezer, still covered, until firm.
- Make the rest of the filling by combining the ⅓ cup flour, cheese, eggs and cream in a medium sized bowl, and blending until smooth.
- Retrieve the chilled dough from the refrigerator or freezer, remove one layer of paper or plastic and carefully place the dough into the prepared baking pan, pressing it gently into the bottom and sides. Trim any excess dough that extends beyond the top of the pan, and pierce the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork in a few places. Spread the pureed apples an onions evenly over the bottom of the crust, top with the remaining apples and onions, and pour in the cream and cheese mixture.
- Place the baking dish in the center of the preheated oven, and bake until the crust is lightly golden brown and the filling is slightly puffed and relatively firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.
Me (it’s Nicole)
P.S. My breath totally does not stink. The onions are so mellow that you really don’t stink. Even more true if you use leeks. Kiss?