When I was a little girl living in Tours, France, my parents had this huge apple tree and I always sighed a bit at apple-picking time. It was not among my favorite chores. But when my family sat down to dinner and the pièce de résistence was my mother’s flaky-pastry apple tart, I was so very happy to have contributed to the creation of this light, ambrosial dessert!
Today, I make what I call, “a simple, country pie, with apples that are not the rich puff pastry, or feuilletage, is time-consuming and exacting to make from scratch, I find the frozen, already multirolled sheets easy to roll out just one time. The resulting crust is flaky and delectable.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- On a lightly floured surface, unfold and roll out the pastry into a rectangle about 18 x 14 inches and about 1/8-inch thick. Using a paring knife, cut out a 10-inch round and fit it into a 9-pinch pie pan (the pastry will come up about 1/2-inch on the side of the pan).
- Peel and core the apple and cut into slices about 1/8 inch thick. Arrange the apple slices, overlapping, in one layer in the pastry shell. Sprinkle the apple with the sugar.
- Bake the tart in the center of the oven until the crust is golden and edges of apples are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Serve the tart warm with a scoop of crème fraîche or ice cream.
Note: Frozen puff pastry is available in supermarkets' frozen food cases in packages that contain two sheets. It is much easier to handle than phyllo and strudel dough, whose tissue-thin layers are piled one on top of the other.
Variations: A luscious pear tart using ripe but firm pears, such as Anjou or Comice, sliced very thin, is another of my favorites.