Sweet Pastry Crust: Place the butter in your
electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat until softened. (You
can use a hand mixer or just mix with a wooden spoon.) Add
the sugar and beat
until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg, beating just until
incorporated. (Don't over mix or the butter will separate and lighten in color.) Add flour
and salt and mix just until it forms a ball. (Don't
overwork or pastry will be hard when baked.) Flatten dough into disk,
cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate about one hour or until firm.
Have ready an 8 - 9 inch (20 -
23 cm) tart pan with removable bottom. On a lightly floured surface, roll
the pastry into an 12 - 13 inch (30 - 33 cm) circle. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure
uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you
roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform
When the pastry is
the desired size, lightly roll the pastry around your rolling pin, dusting off any
excess flour as you roll. Unroll over the top of your tart pan. Never pull
your pastry or you will get shrinkage (shrinkage is caused by too much pulling
of the pastry when placing it in the pan). Gently press the pastry onto the bottom and up
the sides of the pan. Roll your rolling pin over top of pan to get rid of excess
pastry. Prick bottom of pastry with the tines of a fork (this will prevent the
pastry from puffing up as it bakes). Cover and refrigerate for about 20
minutes to chill the butter and to rest the gluten.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees
C). Line the
chilled unbaked pastry shell with parchment paper or foil. Fill tart pan with
pie weights, rice, or beans, making sure the weights are to the top of the pan and
evenly distributed over the entire surface. Bake crust for about 20 minutes
or until crust is golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and remove the
parchment paper and weights. Reduce
oven temperature to 350 degrees F
(180 degrees C) and place the crust back into the oven for about 3-5 minutes or
until the crust is dry to the touch.
In a small saucepan heat the apricot
preserves just until boiling. Remove from heat and strain to get get rid of
lumps. Add the Grand Marnier or water. With a pastry brush, brush the glaze over
the bottom and sides of the pastry shell. (This seals the crust and prevents it
from getting soggy.)
For Apple Tart: Spoon the applesauce into the cooled pre-baked tart shell.
Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) slices. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and stir in the
2 - 4 tablespoons (25 - 50
grams) sugar (depending on tartness of apples) and ground cinnamon. Add the apples and saute until they
just begin to soften (approximately 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool
the apple slices in concentric circles over the applesauce, and
brush with about 1 tablespoon (12 grams) melted butter. Place the tart pan on a
larger baking sheet and bake the tart for
25 - 30 minutes or until the apples are soft
but not mushy.
dust the top of the tart with powdered sugar, cover the edges of tart with foil,
and place under a preheated broiler, about 4 inches (10 cm) from the heat, until the
edges of the apples are golden brown and crisp.
Watch carefully. Once the tart has
cooled lightly glaze the apple slices with warm apricot glaze.
Serve the tart warm or
at room temperature with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Makes about 8
View comments on this recipe on YouTube