Last weekend, which was a long weekend, we spent Saturday taking a drive around the southeast corner of Connecticut, picking apples and visiting wineries. In other words, we had a perfect fall day. We'll tell you more about the wineries later, but as far as the apples go, we picked some big beautiful sweet-tart Winesaps and some deep dark maroon Macouns (considered by some to be the finest eating apple there is). Then we saw that this week's French Fridays with Dorie (in which we haven't been able to participate in some time) was "Crispy Crackly Apple Almond Tart," and we were totally psyched. How fortuitous!
The "French Fridays" Bible
A baking recipe, with a guardian angel for the baking-challenged.
Yes, it's fall, ya'll. And what says fall in New England better than apples? We have posted plenty of apple recipes over the years: recipes for doughnuts, pies (not one but two!), risotto, and other savory dishes (here and here), have featured apples and/or apple cider. But this fall, we were looking for something new, and Around My French Table (the book members of French Fridays with Dorie cooks from) had just what we needed.
Whisking together almond flour, sugar, egg, vanilla and heavy cream...
...makes a heavenly almond cream topping for the tart.
Ooh la la - buttered and sugared sheets of phyllo dough!
After the cream is chilled...
it is carefully spread over the delicate phyllo.
While we can't give you the recipe (club rules!), we can tell you that it wasn't particularly difficult, even for the baking-challenged, and even with working with phyllo dough (which seems scary, doesn't it?). Dorie's direction are clear and straight-forward. We followed them strictly (except for using a different type of apple), and the finished product was incredible - both crispy and crackly, with a delightful balance of tart, juicy apple and sweet, nutty almond. The neighbors loved it, we loved it, and it made us that much more comfortable with baking and with using sheets of phyllo - that ever-versatile yet oh-so-elegant ingredient.
Chris is a slicing wizard
Laying them perfectly over the almond cream.
It almost looks easy!
Some local apple maple jam makes a nice post-baking glaze.
We've said it before, and we'll say it again: buy the book and start making the recipes. From what we can tell, there isn't a bad one in the bunch.