Can I tell you a secret? Pies are hard to make. Sometimes they bubble over the edges. Sometimes the crust gets burnt on one side. But, despite all of this a homemade pie is special.
Do you have a favorite pie? You know the kind that you go back for seconds in the middle of the night if it’s in the refrigerator. Mmmm…. yeah, that kind of pie.
Apple pie would make me want to get out of bed at night.
Now my question to you is have you ever noticed how pies are totally biased when it comes to crust vs. filling? I mean, there’s mountains and mountains of apples, pecans or blueberries but when it comes to the crust, it’s nonexistent. It’s not fair! (Picture: sprawled out on the floor, total hissy-fit tantrum style).
Someone should do something about it.
Well I did. I set out to bring justice to the crust just in the nick of time before it was lost forever in a jungle of bubbly and syrupy apple pie goodness.
We want equality for the crust and we want it now! I’m starting a movement.
Okay, maybe I’m being a tad bit over dramatic. But hey, I care!
In other news, I ate about 3 slices of of this apple pie french tart while writing this. Mmm…. Good.
For the Crust:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (such as, Crisco)
- 1/2 cup ice water
For the Topping:
- 2 medium granny smith apples
- 1 large fuji apple
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 pinch nutmeg (preferably fresh grated)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
For the Glaze:
- 1/2 cup apricot jelly
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
To make the crust:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and vegetable shortening, using a dough blender or potato masher, work the butter into the flour mixture. Continue to do so until butter breaks down into pea size pieces.
- Remove the ice and add the cold water to the dough use hands or a fork to mix quickly. You want the dough to start holding a shape, just barely.
- Dump onto a floured surface and quickly knead into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Roll out the dough, on a well-floured surface, roll to slightly larger than 10 x 14 inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone pad and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
To make the topping:
- Peel apples and cut them into quarters. Using a melon baller and a knife, remove the stems and core. Cut 1/4 inch-thick slices (I usually don't use the rounded ends). Place apples in a medium bowl, add lemon juice immediate to prevent browning. Add cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg and toss until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Place overlapping apple slices diagonally across the dough. Repeat diagonal pattern all across the tart dough, leaving about an inch space on the edges.
- Dot the apples with butter. Bake the tart for 40 - 55 minutes. Rotate the pan half way in between cooking. The apple juices may burn in the pan, but not to worry, the tart will be fine!
To make the glaze:
- When the tart is done, heat the apricot jelly together with the orange juice and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture.