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There is no shortage of options when it comes to apple tarts.
You pick the apple varietal, the vessel (pie dish, tart pan, free-form on a baking sheet), the size (crowd-feeding or individual), the dough (pie or pizza or puff pastry or enriched and yeasted), and the focus (crust or fruit forward). You choose whether the tart is rustic or refined, simple or elaborate, whether it's toasty with brown butter, spicy with cinnamon, or sweetened with apricot jam or apple butter. Heck, you can add cheese (and bacon!).
I hope there is a whole gaggle of diverse apple tarts in your fall's future. For me, this apple galette diva, adapted from Bronwen Wyatt, the pastry chef at Shaya restaurant in New Orleans, is where I'll start (and it's so good, it's probably where I'll finish, too).
Because as beautiful as the galette is (by quartering the apples, slicing them thinly, and leaving the slivers huddled up as neat bundles, you can fan them out easily), it's more than just looks. The real superpower is tahini frangipane, which lies in wait between the waves of apple slices and the buttery pie dough (use your favorite recipe for double-crust dough—I went with Stella Parks' No-Stress, Super-Flaky Pie Crust).
By swapping out ground almonds for ground sesame seeds, Wyatt makes a frangipane that's earthier than the traditional iteration, with a pleasant bitterness that's the ideal counterpart to the sweet apples.
You may want to double your batch of tahini frangipane and keep a stash in the freezer: You can slather it on toast, swap it for almond cream when making Bostock or Bakewell Tart, or use it to spruce up day-old croissants.
In addition to the tahini frangipane, the tart has another hidden talent: a pink honey-hibiscus glaze that's infused with apple peels. Brushed all over the still-warm galette, the glaze will make the whole tart shimmer and shine.
Make it rustic and rectangular and bake it on a sheet pan, or follow Wyatt's intricacy: She rolls her dough into a large circle, spreads the apples in concentric circles, then bakes the galette on a preheated pizza stone.
I'll take my chances and call this the most stunning apple dessert you'll bake this season (and it's only just September).
For the tahini frangipane:
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
- 1 egg
- 1 pinch salt
To assemble, bake, and glaze the tartL
- 1 batch of your favorite pie dough, ready to roll out (see step 1)
- 6 to 8 medium to large apples of your choosing (I used Pink Lady)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- For the optional glaze:
- 1 cup reserved apple peels
- 1 tablespoon dried hibiscus flowers
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pinch salt
What's your favorite version of apple tart? Or do you prefer pie? Tell us in the comments below.