What do you do when your plans to go apple picking on a crisp, sunny Saturday in October are thwarted by all four of your darling children coming down with some form of a cold? Well, our family decided to have an Apple Day anyway! We had plans with some friends to visit a charming apple orchard about an hour away, the kind of orchard that has a petting zoo, a cornstalk maze, and of course has the best cider donuts around. Runny noses started up a few days ago, but by last night David was losing his voice and the girls were coughing. The baby woke up this morning wheezing and gasping for breath. We called our friends, cancelled our plans, and drove on down the road to a local produce store to purchase native Cortland apples and a gallon of apple cider. The Cortlands were huge and very sweet, and on special for 50 cents a pound. There was no trudging up hills with small children, no telling them not to touch the rotten apples on the ground, and we didn’t have to pay $28.00 for a bag of apples. We think we’re on to something here!
Seriously, though, we have at least assuaged some of our disappointment over our cancelled plans. While I assembled an apple croustade, the rest of the family munched on fresh apple slices and sipped apple cider, hot or cold depending on personal preference. The tart will be served as an afternoon treat with ice cream (and cheddar cheese, for my husband).
To make your own galette-style apple tart, simply take your favorite pie crust recipe (for two crusts) or smash two store bought crusts together and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Roll out on floured surface into a large circle, transfer to a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Load it up with thinly sliced apples (I use 4 cups of apples that I toss with lemon juice), keeping the apples about two inches away from edge of crust, then fold crust up over edges and overlap as you go around…this creates about a two inch border of crust. Brush apples and crust with 2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with 4 tablespoons sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, rotating cookie sheet every 15 minutes. If you like, you can boil the peels and cores down with water (to cover) and sugar (about 3/4 cup)…I boiled mine for an hour and then drizzled a small amount of syrup right over the apples. Be careful not to soak the crust!
Once the tart has cooled, it can be moved carefully with the help of a spatula on to a pretty plate. I tear all the parchment paper from the edges and use the spatuala to slide the tart on to the plate. I then remove the rest of the paper…just pull carefully and slowly. Serve warm topped with ice cream or whipped cream. It’s also delicious cold! This is a great recipe, very easy and can be adapted to use with pears, berries, etc. My favorite combination is peaches and blueberries with some lemon zest.
So, happy Apple Day! We will be enjoying our special dessert and cider…with a side of tissues and cough drops!