Apple Almond Free-Form Tart




From the story Stylin’ Pie in Niles by Katie Yen

For the apples, Carolyn Berke, founder of Niles Pie in Union City, California, recommends the organic Mutsu from Prevedelli Farms in Watsonville. Her favorite organic almond grower is Inzana Ranch, which is located near Modesto.

  • 1 recipe Quick Whole-Wheat Puff Pastry
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large apples
  • ½ recipe whole-wheat puff pastry (see above)
  • ½ cup sliced natural almonds
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tiny chunks
  • 1 egg mixed with a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Whirl the almonds in a food processor with the sugar until they are very finely ground. Add the butter and whirl until mixed, scraping the bowl once. Whirl in the egg and the almond extract, and if needed, add a tablespoon of water to get a thick batter-like consistency.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface to make a 10-inch circle about ¼-inch thick. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and spread on the almond filling, leaving a 2-inch border. Peel, core, and slice the apples and arrange over the filling in an attractive pattern. Fold the border of the pastry up around the filling, crimping as you go. Place the whole thing in the fridge for at least ½ hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375º. When the tart has rested at least ½ hour, sprinkle the butter chunks on top of the apples, brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash, and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake for about 40 minutes, checking after 25 minutes. If the apples are getting too brown, cover the top with foil for the remainder of the time.