halloween recap + jacques pépin rustic apple tart

You’ll have to pardon me for playing catch up on the blog – things have been bananas in Annie-land!

So where to start off – how’s about my favorite day – Halloweenie! How was everybody’s spooky day? Ours was so great. I dressed up as Linda Blair from the Exorcist, and while I don’t think it was my best, I did seem to either gross people out or be too freaky to even look at, so I think job done? 😀

Sir Dave, who is usually not as Halloween-inclined, even got into the spirit and whipped up this costume as the chef from Ratatouille. A-dor-a-ble.

We also did the house up with a bit more pizzazz this year, including the debut of our fog machine. I laughed at Dave because while he’s always a good sport, I’d say his Halloween excitement factor was a 2 out of 10 in previous years. I should have known giving him a machine to plug in would do the trick in terms of upping his Halloween effort and interest. He purchased the highest rated “fog juice,” ran some test fog days earlier and spent a lot of time ensuring it was perfectly positioned. I know now he is my true soul mate – only took 17 years for him to get on this Halloween train. #Halloween4lyfe

Dave was even into documenting the evening and started taking some artsy fartsy pics in the fog. How fun is he?!

Alright, moving on! I even set some time aside this season for non-scary activities. I had some quality gal time with my good friends at an apple orchard. We did all the stuff – ate the donuts, picked the apples, drank the cider. UGH, I just love it all so much I could scream.

On that note, I came home with a buncha apples and wasn’t sure what to do with them all. So, I went on a google-recipe quest to see if there was a dessert that didn’t seem too complicated (i.e. Annie-proof) and landed on this fab recipe from Sir Jacques. I did a couple little twists, but really loved how simple and delicious this was. If I can do it, anybody can! 😀 I will use this dough recipe over and over again and try out new fillings and flavors…maybe I’ll get this baking thing down after all.

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tbs all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
plus 2 tbs melted butter
1/3 cup ice water
3 1/2 tbs sugar
4 large golden delicious apples—peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

First, pulse 1 1/2 cups of the flour with the salt. Then add the cold butter and process just until the butter is the size of peas which is about 5 seconds.

Sprinkle the ice water over the mixture and process just until moistened, about 5 seconds. Then transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead 2 or 3 times until it comes together.

Then shape the dough into a disk. Make sure you have added some additional flour onto your work surface, then roll the dough out into a 16 inch round-ish shape that is about 1/4 inch thick.

Next, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, roll the dough around the rolling-pin to pick it up and unroll it onto the prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine 2 tbs of the sugar with the remaining 1 tbs of flour and sprinkle it over the dough.

Then arrange the apple slices on top of the dough in overlapping circles to within 3 inches of the edge. Fold the dough up over the apples in a free-form fashion – really, don’t fret too much here – it’s “rustic.”

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Brush the apples with the melted butter and sprinkle the tart with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, the cinnamon and nutmeg. Refrigerate the unbaked tart until slightly chilled for 10 minutes.

Bake the tart in the center of the oven for 1 hour, or until the apples are tender and golden and the crust is golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool for just a few minutes before serving.

Tada! I made a dessert that didn’t suck! Woo! Obviously would be insane with ice cream. Get at this.

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