Easy-as-Pie Apple Tart

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett
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When we built our house, I dreamed of a large pantry with neat shelves stocked with my jars, and a freezer with shelves neatly organized and labeled. I got the large pantry. Got the shelves stocked (not always so neatly) with jars of applesauce,tomato sauce, pickles, chowchow and jam experiments to get us through the winter. Got the freezer. Sure didn’t get the freezer neatly organized.

Every few days, it seems, I shuffle things around to fit in a cake I need to freeze before frosting it, or a batch of cookies for lunchboxes, or the big bags of blueberries I froze at the height of the season. The hidden blessing? Nothing stays hidden. I may not know which shelf something is on, but because I keep having to move things, I’m constantly reminded of what’s there.

That led me last weekend to use the final bag of pie dough I still had lurking; I’d been saving it, but I needed the space. Thawed in the fridge, two rounds of dough awaited me the next morning when I wanted something sweet and special for a Saturday breakfast. On the counter, bags of apples from my latest over-enthusiastic trip to the farmers market awaited. (How does anyone resist all those apples? Every time I go, it seems, little signs tempt me with five new-to-me varieties to take home and test.)

Still, though, it was Saturday morning, and I wanted to jump from the dough-in-the-fridge stage straight to the coffee-and-a-hot-slice stage. This did not call for complicated ideas.

Thus, a few sliced apples and two roughly rolled-out pie discs later, I had a tart. I highly recommend this for showing your family some love, and if you’re lucky, your child will want to make this with you. Let her. It means more flour on the floor, but next time, with a little pre-made dough, who’s to say she won’t just make the whole thing for you?

Here’s the plan: Put a dough round on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, top it with cinnamon sugar mixed with a bit of flour, scatter on some apples (or, if you’ve had your coffee already, neatly arrange them), and lay on another dough round. Press the edges together with a fork, cut a few slits in the top, and sling that sheet into a hot oven. Make coffee. Read the paper. Turn the oven down after 15 minutes. Drink more coffee. Play canasta with your kids. Eat tart. Get sticky thank-you kisses. And re-arrange your freezer — surely there’s some hidden dough in there for Sunday.

Recipe: Apple Tart

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