As days grow chilly, we turn to the comforts of home and the scents of homemade pies, tarts, cookies, and breads that emerge from our kitchens. Baking and the holidays seem to go hand in hand, and every family celebrates shared traditions with sweets that represent moments, memories, and cultural heritage.
This year we are spending more time baking and cooking with loved ones at home. Moms and dads, grandparents and friends, caregivers and teachers are looking for hands-on projects for bored (and maybe a bit restless) kids. How about letting them bake a Rustic Apple Tart with a little supervision?
While baking pies may require practiced skill and finesse, rustic tarts require minimal equipment - a great rolling pin, baking sheet, cooling rack and hot oven. And do you know the very best thing about tarts like these? You can never go wrong! Every tart will look handmade and taste great, and the wiggly edges or straight-line folds of pastry dough will become known as the maker’s distinctive style.
So, let’s get started! Remember, clean surfaces and clean hands are important reminders for safe baking.
Rustic Apple Tart Recipe
Gather Your Tools:
- Paring knife
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Parchment paper
- Ultra Cuisine Rolling Pin
- Ultra Cuisine Baking Sheet and Rack
- Ultra Cuisine Mini Shapes Cutters (optional)
- Food processor (if making pastry from scratch)
Gather Your Ingredients:
- 1 recipe sweet pie pastry (or 1 box refrigerated pie dough)
- 4-6 large ripe apples, cored and cut into thin slices
- 3/4 cup sugar or more, depending on personal taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, depending on personal taste
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tablespoon cold butter, cut into cubes
Get Ready to Bake:
- Prepare pie crust as directed in the Sweet Pie Pastry Recipe. Set in refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap to rest.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper to ease in transferring the tart to a serving platter.
- While oven is heating, prepare filling in large mixing bowl. Add apple slices, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and salt. Fold until apples are well coated. Taste and adjust seasonings. Don’t worry if your apple slices are different thicknesses. The thinner slices will break down and create a luscious syrup while the thicker slices will add texture to each bite.
- On floured work surface, remove pastry dough from plastic wrap and roll into desired shape. Transfer dough onto prepared baking sheet.
- Mound apple filling onto center of dough to within 3 inches of pastry edge. If you prefer, arrange layers of apple slices in concentric circles, arcs, or other fanciful design. Dot each tart with butter cubes.
- Shape your tart by folding dough artistically around the edges. Pinch, ruffle, roll, or square the edges to suit your maker’s style. Pinch closed any holes in the crust to prevent losing too much of the sweet filling. (Some sweet drippings will occur.)
- If you have extra pie pastry dough, use the mini shapes cutters to cut out and create dough designs to top the apple filling or tart edges.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes until the filling is tender and bubbling. Your crust should be golden and baked through.
- When baked, slide the tart on the parchment paper onto the cooling rack.
- To serve the cooled tart, tear parchment roughly around tart edge, and transfer to a serving platter. Enjoy!
Rustic tarts are fun to make in two ways: big enough for a crowd and handheld for a single serving. If you opt to make individual servings, begin with an 8 to 10 inch section of dough to allow for edge shaping. Experiment with your dough folding and gathering techniques. This recipe works great for blended fillings such as apple-pear-raisin, peach-nectarine, or blackberry-strawberry. Change the ingredients and adjust the seasonings to suit the time of year!