The ABC's of Cooking with Lynn Fredericks
author of Cooking Time Is Family Time


A is for Apple
Apple Tart

The children's father began making this wonderfully simple tart when he returned his culinary apprenticeship in France. My kids love it warm from the oven topped by a big scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. The best way to slice the apples is by using the slicing attachment to a food processor. Better yet, invest in a Japanese vegetable slicer, which is available in most Asian markets for under $20. It's a wonderful tool for making thin slices of fruit, potatoes, vegetables etc. for a whole range of culinary applications. The blade is very sharp, so you can tape up your children's fingers with strapping tape so they do not get hurt. If you don't have such a slicer, parents should do the slicing with a very sharp knife. Take your time as precision counts, creating a very beautiful spiral effect.
makes 4-6 servings


Ingredients:

  • 9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 cup water
  • juice from 1/2 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Let the children help you cut up butter into small pieces with a table knife and place the pieces in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt. With clean hands, have the kids work the butter into the flour until it is crumbly. Add the egg and as much water as needed to make the dough into a ball. If it is too sticky, add a couple more tablespoons of flour. Place the dough in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

3. Now have the children peel the apples with a 'sure-grip' vegetable peeler. Older children can help core the apples and quarter them. Then the children can help slice the apples with the slicing attachment to a food processor or with the Japanese slicer or with a knife to 1/8-inch thickness. While older kids are helping to slice, younger children can measure water into a medium bowl and squeeze in the lemon. Place the apple slices into the lemon water so they don't turn brown while you finish slicing all the apples and are ready to arrange them over the dough.

4. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and divide it in half. On a flat baking sheet, have the children help you to press each ball of dough into a circle 6 inches in diameter and 1/8-inch thick. Or use the bottom of two tart pans and press the dough to this size, discarding excess dough (note: do not build up the sides, this tart should only have a thin bottom).

5. Drain the apple slices and pat them dry. Arrange apple slices in a spiral on the dough. Sprinkle with remaining sugar, and place into preheated oven on the top rack closest to the heat source. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crust is done. Then, just before serving, transfer to the broiler and cook 2 minutes or until the edges of the apple turn dark and create a natural pattern of the spiral. Parents should remove it from the oven and cut the warm tart, serving it alone or with ice cream.


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