We are still enjoying the Honey Crisp apples that we brought back from Michigan. I thought about making a traditional apple pie, but the weather has been so hot this month that a pie seemed too heavy to be enjoyed properly. Laura Calder to the rescue! I am enjoying her French Food at Home show on the new Cooking Channel. One of the things I’ve noticed about her is the simplicity of her recipes and the fact that she uses very few kitchen gadgets. She whips her cream by hand in a copper bowl, she chops and dices without the aid of a food processor, and her kitchen always seems so serene. Now I’m not saying that I am giving up my kitchen gadgets, but I love the sense of calm that she projects in her kitchen. You can almost hear the birds singing in her yard. But I digress (borrowed that one from My Year on the Grill).
Laura made this simple apple tart last week. The crust is cookie-like, comes together simply and is patted into either a springform pan or a tart pan. I considered using my 9 inch tart pan, but thought the filling would overflow, so I made it in my high- sided springform pan. Next time, I will be brave and use the tart pan because the filling takes up very little space and I love the ridges that result on the crust.
But what makes this tart so special is the cream cheese filling. It is what makes this “Pastry Shop” good! You know those wonderful cream filled pastries that you get from the bakery. That is what this tart tastes like. It is so good that I had it for breakfast one morning with my coffee and I was enraptured. The gilding on the lily of this tart is the layer of cinnamon spiced apple slices with almonds scattered about. Simple and decadent at the same time. A perfect tart.
EASY PASTRY SHOP APPLE TART
For the crust:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vinilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
For the cream filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the top:
3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Make the crust: Cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the vanilla. Finally, mix in the flour to make a smooth dough. Press into the botton of an 8-inch springform pan (I used a 9-inch pan or a 9-inch tart pan), giving it about a 1-inch rim. Bake 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove the tart shell from the oven.
While the crust bakes, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla for the cream filling until smooth. Make the topping by tossing the apple slices with the cinnamon and sugar.
Spread the cream cheese mixture into the tart shell. Arrange the apple slices on top in a spiral pattern and then scatter the nuts on top. Bake until the apples are tender and golden, about 40 minutes.
I am submitting this recipe to the Hearth ‘n Soul blog hop. Go over to Girlichef’s blog to see all of the wonderful “REAL” food entries this week.