Of course you can use apples from another state, but we grow some good apples here and it's always fun to use what's in your own backyard! This is a variation of a classic Pear Frangipane Tart, which is a favorite in my family. This tart screams for a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or almond ice cream, if you can find or make it). Toasting the almonds before grinding them will deepen their flavor. —Seasons in Vermont
Test Kitchen Notes
The trick here is ensure a very, very fine grind to those almonds, perhaps blanch them to ensure a bit more moisture. The second time I made it, I used a coffee grinder and the frangipane came out creamier and set better. (And with the apples arranged on top, it's one beautiful tart.) —feastathome
6 to 8
For the dough:
almonds, whole or slivered
2 1/4 cups
all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
unsalted butter, cold and chopped into little pieces
1/4 to 1/3 cups
For the filling:
All-purpose flour, for rolling
unsalted butter, softened
dark brown sugar
whole almonds, finely ground in a food processor
Calvados (apple brandy)
2 to 3
apples, a tart variety like Mac or Granny Smith
First, make the tart dough. (This makes enough for 2 tarts; the dough freezes well!). In a food processor, grind the almonds into a meal. Add the flour, salt, and butter and pulse until the butter is in tiny bits and everything is combined. With the processor running, slowly add the cold water until the dough just barely holds together. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured clean counter and gather into a ball. Knead slightly and divide into two balls. Flatten into round disks and cover completely in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at lease 30 minutes.
For the filling:
Preheat oven to 350° F. After chilling the dough, remove one disk from the fridge and roll out onto a clean surface, using a little flour to keep it from sticking. Carefully drape the dough into a tart pan with a removable bottom. Press into the pan to line and trim the edges. Place the tart shell back in the fridge to chill while preparing the filling.
In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar and beat well. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the ground almonds, vanilla, almond extract, and Calvados and beat until fluffy. Remove the tart shell from the fridge and spread the filling over the bottom of the tart.
Peel and core the apples. Cut them in half (from top to bottom) and then slice each apple half very thinly. Arrange the apple slices on top of the frangipane filling in a concentric, circular pattern, with the apple slices overlapping. Bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until the apples begin to brown the the filling is bubbling.
Remove the tart from the oven and let cool on a rack. Place the apricot jam in a small saucepan over low heat. Strain and discard the solids. Using a pastry brush, paint the apricot jam all over the top of the tart for a nice glossy shine.