Опять хочу в Париж…
January 2011, Paris. It is unusually cold. My daughter and I live in a small room a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower, on Rue de Grenelle. Our location is perfect for many reasons, but the Motte-Piquet/Grenelle Market is the best part of it. Because it is in a residential area, the prices are very reasonable. The variety of raw produce and ready-to-eat cold and hot foods is simply amazing, and we use every opportunity to taste everything we can. Our tiniest room only fit a double bed and a narrow table attached to the wall. Two cell phones and keys occupy the whole table space, so we are picnicking on our bed. See that red velvet as a background for the apple tart from the market? Sweet memories…
More, More Apples
The French apple tart, or Tarte aux Pommes, is actually a double apple tart. Between the layer of thin caramelized apple slices and buttery pastry crust, there is a creamy vanilla-flavored apple puree. Two layers of apples with different textures make this dessert a celebration of apple season. Out of all apples in the U.S., I find Minnesota Honeycrisp and River Belle the most exciting choices for this tart.
Two Ways with the Apple Slices on Top
The apple slices are par-cooked before arranging them o the tart to avoid overdrying the top layer during the baking. There are two ways of par-cooking them. If making only one small tart, it makes sense to combine 1-2 tbsp of honey and 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a hot frying pan over medium heat and quickly cook apple slices in single layer in a syrupy gastrique until soft. See the video for this method:
If making more tarts or a big one with a generous amount of apple slices, go for the method described in the step-by-step instructions below using simple syrup.