Apple Crumb Tarts

7 Dec

I was in the mood for a baked apple dessert of some sort last week, but the classic apple pie wasn’t it.   This tart really hit the mark.  It’s simply apples layered on shortbread crust with just a dusting of a crumb on top.   If you’re looking for a recipe that really showcases the apple,  this is it.

Apple Crumb Tarts

For shortbread crusts:

  • 1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For filling:

  • 4 pounds Gala or Golden Delicious apples (or Granny Smith)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade fine dry bread crumbs (or I used oatmeal finely ground in food processor)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 2 (9-inch) tart pans with removable bottoms.

Make shortbread crusts:
Pulse butter, flour, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor until mixture begins to form small lumps. Divide between tart pans and press onto bottoms and up sides. Bake in middle of oven until pale golden, about 20 minutes. Leave oven on.

Prepare filling while crusts are baking:
Peel, quarter, and core apples. Cut quarters crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices and toss with flour, lemon juice, and 1 cup sugar. Toss bread crumbs with melted butter.

Assemble and bake tarts:
Remove tart pans from oven and divide apple mixture between crusts, gently shaking pans to settle apples. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over tarts and sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup sugar over crumbs.

Bake tarts in middle of oven, placing a sheet of foil on rack below to catch any drips, until apples are tender and crumbs are golden brown, about 1 hour.

Note: Tarts may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before serving.  I halved the recipe to make one 10-inch tart.

Source: Gourmet, February 2000

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