Orchard to Oven: La Tarte Normande
I had to bake something with my freshly-picked apples, so I settled on a Normandy French Apple Tart. This was my first attempt at making a French Apple Tart. I never got around to making one because I think American apple pie is one of the few desserts where the American version is better than the French one. But I have been thinking about Normandy lately, and Calvados—the apple-flavored brandy that is customary of the region. Since I’m not going to France anytime soon, I decided to make this tart with the flavors of the Normandy region of France.
Unlike other classic “Tartes aux pommes,” this tart is a custard. Typical French apple tarts consist of a tart crust, filled with pureed apples and topped with apples in a beautiful, spiral design. With this tart, you pour an egg-cream-flour mixture on top of apples and bake it until the custard is set. What makes this tart special is the Calvados. There is a hefty three tablespoons of the apple brandy in this recipe. The Calvados adds some pizazz to an otherwise g-rated pastry.
- 1 par-baked tart crust or store-bought pie crust
- 2 pounds apples, peeled and cut into ¼ inch wedges
- 1/3 cup sugar + 1/3 cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup almond flour or all-purpose flour
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons Calvados or Cognac
- Preheat oven to 375F. Toss apples wedges with 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon. Arrange in the pastry shell in a spiral formation. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- While the tart is cooling, prepare the custard. Beat the egg and sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium until the mixture is thick and yellow. Add the almond flour and mix until combined. Add the cream, followed by the Calvados, and mix until combined.
- Pour the custard mixture into the tart. Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes, until the custard is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
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