Don't let making homemade pastry intimidate you. It takes only a few minutes to put together pastry dough in the food processor. This pate sucree pastry dough is rich and sweet, much like a cookie dough. I have enhanced it with vanilla bean extract and orange zest to make a truly tasty pastry. You may also PRESS this pastry into a 12" tart pan if you don't like rolling out pastry dough. The apple filling is simply flavored with cinnamon, allspice and just a pinch of nutmeg. My favorite Fall apples are Honeycrisp as they stay crisp and sweet/tart when baked. —Lorraine Fina Stevenski
1 hour 30 minutes
PATE SUCREE PASTRY:
2- 1/2 cups
all-purpose flour, more as needed
unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
large egg yolks
vanilla bean extract
whole milk, cold, more if needed
medium Honeycrisp apples
pinch of salt
TOPPING: White coarse sparkling sugar and vanilla sugar
MAKE THE PASTRY: To the bowl of a large food processor, add the flour, sugar,baking powder and salt. Pulse a few times to blend.
Add the butter pieces and pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add the egg yolks, vanilla and zest and pulse a few times to blend.
Add the milk and pulse until a soft dough forms but still has coarse crumbs; pinch to see if the dough holds together. Add more milk if too dry.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Push into a ball and knead a few times. Form into a flat disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight. Makes one 14" galette or one 12" tart pastry.
MAKE THE APPLE FILLING: To a large mixing bowl, add the lemon juice. Peel, core and cut each apple into 8 slices; toss in the lemon juice. Repeat with the remaining apples. Toss in the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cornstarch, vanilla and salt. Drain excess juices before adding to the pastry
PUT IT ALL TOGETHER: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 1/2 sheet pan with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to a 14" circle. Put the scraps aside for cutouts to decorate the top. Transfer the pastry to the parchment lined sheet pan (it will hang over temporarily). I use a 16" pizza pan with parchment paper cut to fit.
Mound the apples in the middle of the dough leaving about a 3" border. You can also arrange them, domino effect, in a circle. Fold the dough over the apples leaving a circle of apples exposed in the middle. Pinch the dough in pleats to flatten. It does not have to be perfect, the pastry cutouts will cover. Reroll the scraps and cut out into seasonal shapes. Stars are great for Holiday season, leaves for Fall. Press on top of the apples and on the dough.
Finish by sprinkling the top with coarse sugar, cinnamon sugar or vanilla sugar. Bake about 45 minutes or until the apples are bubbling and the pastry is golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.