28 January 2011

Parisian Apple Tartlets....

Butter...butter...and more butter... So in my first attempt at french pastry baking, I made the Tartelettes aux Pommes Elysée (Elysée Apple Tartlets). This took some time to make, but they taste so good! Also, my tartlets didn't come out exactly like the picture in the book. Oh well. I think the biggest thing was that the tart pans I used aren't the same kind they have in France. So the tartlets didn't darken like it shows in the book. If anyone knows of a good French baking supply store for French baking tools let me know, hopefully they have online ordering. Another thing was I believe I cut the apples too thick before baking them in the oven. So they were to wide to bend into shapes for the topping.

Also just letting all of you know now. You will use a LOT of butter for this recipe. So it isn't for the faint of heart. (No pun intended.) Have a great weekend everyone! Enjoy!

First the pastry...

Pate Sucree aux Amandes (Sweet Almond Pastry) - (makes 16 oz | 450 g of dough)

½ cups | 120 g butter, very cold
½ cup + 1 tbsp | 70 g confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup | 25 g ground almonds (almond flour)
1 pinch of fleur de sel (or other coarse sea salt)
1 pinch of vanilla powder (or a few drops of vanilla extract) (optional)
1 egg
1 2/3 cups | 200 g cake flour

1. Sift the confectioners’ sugar.

2. Cut the butter into small pieces and place in a bowl. (Or , if you have a stand mixer, place in the bowl of the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.)
3. Work the butter to homogenize and then add the following ingredients, one by one, making sure to fully incorporate each into the mixture before the next addition: sifted confectioners’ sugar, ground almonds, fleur de sel, vanilla, egg and flour.
4. Combine ingredients just until the dough comes together; do not overwork the dough. This will give the pastry its desired crumbly texture.

5. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours before using. If possible, it is better to prepare the dough one day ahead; it will be easier to roll out.

Now the tartlet recipe...

Tartelettes aux Pommes Elysée (Elysée Apple Tartlets) - (makes 8)


Sweet almond pastry for tartlet shells
12 ½ oz | 350 g dough (see pastry recipe above)
2 ½ tbsp all-purpose flour for work surface
 1 ½ tbsp. butter for tartlet pans

Diced cinnamon apple
½ cup | 60 g golden seedless raisins (sultanas)
26 ½ oz | 750 g apples (Jonagored, Jonagold or Boskoop if possible)
4 tbsp | 60 g butter
¼ cup | 45 g granulated sugar
1 pinch of ground cinnamon

Baked apple slices
About 2 lbs | 1 kg apples (Jonagold or Boskoop if possible)
4 tbsp | 60 g butter
¼ cup | 50 g granulated sugar

¼ cup | 25 g slivered or sliced (flaked) almonds (optional)

8 tartlet pans, 3-inch | 8-cm diameter, ¾ inch | 2-cm high
Pastry brush

Note: Prepare the sweet almond pastry dough one day ahead.


Sweet Almond Pastry for Tartlets Shells:
1. Butter the tartlet pans.
2. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1/10 inch | 2-mm thick.
3. Using a round pastry cutter or small bowl, cut out 8 disks with a diameter of approximately 5 inches | 12-cm and press into buttered pans. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Diced Cinnamon Apple:
4. Place raisins in a bowl covered with hot water and allow to soak for approximately 30 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, peel, core and dice the apples.
6. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the diced apple to sear, then add the sugar and cinnamon. As soon as the apples are golden, remove from heat. (Note: The apples should be cooked, but still firm.) Allow to cool.

 7. Drain the raisins and fold in to the apples.

Baked Apple Slices:
8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F | 180 degrees C | gas mark 4.
9. Peel, core and halve the apples. Cut again into either 4 or 5 slices depending on their size.
10. Place apples on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
11. In a small saucepan (or in the microwave), melt the butter. Using a pastry brush, butter the apple slices.
12. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The apples should remain firm after cooking.

Tartlet Shells:
13. Preheat the oven to 340 degrees F | 170 degrees C | gas mark 3.
14. Remove tartlet shells from the refrigerator.  Using a fork, prick the surface of the dough to keep from puffing up during baking.
15. Fit a round piece of parchment paper over the dough, carefully pressing into the corners and working up the sides so it will stay in place in the oven.
15. Place dried beans or pie weights on top, spreading them out in an even layer.

16. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until lightly colored.
17. Take tartlet shells out of the oven and remove dried beans and parchment paper. Allow to cool. (If the pastry is still pale, return to oven uncovered, just long enough to finish baking and to color slightly.)
18. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

19. Fill the cooled tartlet shells with the diced cinnamon apple and arrange the baked apple slices in a decorative pattern on top.

20. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
21. Sprinkle with toasted almonds if desired.

Note: Give the tartlets a glossy sheen by coating the apple slices with an apricot glaze.

Images from Me; Recipe from Ladurée Sucré (The Recipes) book

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