Tag Archives: French

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits

In what was perhaps (okay fine, most assuredly) a coincidence, I ran across a recipe in my blog reader for putting gruyere cheese in a biscuit, just when I happened to have the exact amount of gruyere cheese called for in said recipe sitting in my refrigerator, about to expire! I took it as a divine sign from the Cheesy Biscuit Gods (of course they exist! Why on earth would you doubt that?) that I was simply meant to bake up these biscuit beauties.

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits

So this is sort of like taking the main elements of French Onion soup – the caramelized onions, the gruyere cheese – and mixing them up into biscuit dough. They bake up incredibly fluffy and beautiful, with the sweet bite of onion and sharp nuttiness of cheese in every bite.

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits

They are milder in flavor than I was expecting, but certainly not in a bad way, and Matt’s coworkers have already demolished them, even though they were apparently competing with amazing New York bagels in the break room.

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits

So I hope y’all will enjoy these! A perfect savory treat!

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits

{One Year Ago: Crab Macaroni and Cheese}

Source: slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:
9 tbs cold unsalted butter, divided
1 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 pinch plus 1 tbs granulated sugar, divided
1 tbs baking powder
3/4 tsp coarse or kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, well shaken
4 oz. (about 1 cup) gruyère or another Swiss-style cheese, shredded
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and add olive oil. Add the onions, plus a pinch of sugar, and reduce the heat to low. Place a lid on top, letting them steam for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and continue to cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they’re nicely golden and caramelized, which will take anywhere from another 10 to 35 minutes. Don’t rush this – you want them caramelized but not browned or charred. Set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Dice 8 tbs remaining cold butter into 1/2-inch bits. Use your fingertips or a pastry blender to work the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture is crumbly with butter in pieces no larger than a small pea.
Pour the buttermilk onto the flour mixture, then add the cooled onions and shredded cheese. Stir all to combine. Add a few drops more buttermilk if needed. Once the dough has mostly come together, use your clean hands to knead the last little scraggly bits into the entire mixture. Do not knead for more than 1 minute though, as you don’t want to overwork the dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and roll out to a 1-inch thickness. Use a floured 3-inch cutter to stamp out circles and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. Gather the scrap and re-roll them as needed. Space the biscuits fairly close together – not touching, but fairly close. These are not cookies, so don’t worry about them running together. Biscuits (and scones for that matter) have a lot of leavening agent; if you space them widely, they spread out, but if you space them close, they spread up. And spread up biscuits are much fluffier and lighter.
Sprinkle biscuits with sea salt and black pepper and bake 20 to 23 minutes. Serve warm.

Counterfeit Duck Confit

Counterfeit Duck Confit

I recently read a most excellent book entitled French Women Don’t Get Fat. Its perfectly genius ideas, many of which I have successfully incorporated into my lifestyle resulting in a weight loss of around 40 pounds (though I don’t know exactly because French women do not weigh themselves!) make me yearn to visit Paris again. Since that isn’t really on the horizon for a multitude of boring reasons (work, finances, yada yada), I’ve made do with delving into French cuisine at home.

Counterfeit Duck Confit

Much of French cuisine is ubiquitous enough that even a girl growing up in Dallas, Texas in the ‘80’s is familiar, but one thing I never even knew about, let alone tasted until adulthood, is duck confit.

Duck confit. It’s the most delicious, superlative, food-gasmic thing, ever. What is it, exactly? It’s duck legs cooked slowly in their own fat. The result is perfectly crispy, crackly skin encasing fall-off-the-bone dark duck meat. The actual cooking is a bit of a production and requires one to buy copious amounts of duck fat, an item that can be difficult to locate for some, and then sometimes insultingly expensive when finally found.

Counterfeit Duck Confit

Luckily for us all, David Lebovitz has gifted us a way to make duck confit in our own kitchens in a quarter of the time and without having to hunt down and purchase that pesky duck fat.* In his version, the duck sits overnight in the refrigerator in a combination of salt, spices and gin, then cooks in a low and slow oven, for only 2 ½ hours, in the fat it renders itself. The result? You can’t tell the difference. You can’t! David is really onto something here. I’m thoroughly impressed by his method, and so grateful to now have this trick in my arsenal. Enjoy, everyone!

Counterfeit Duck Confit

*Disclaimer: I love duck fat. I adore it! So please don’t think I’m maligning it here. It’s just that I’m also spoiled in that I can find it in my regular grocery store. I don’t assume everyone can find it so easily, and calling for duck fat can make a recipe prohibitive for some. If duck fat is easy for you to find, consider using it for potatoes, Chex mix, or cookies!

One Year Ago: Bacon Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Source: My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

Ingredients:
4 whole duck legs (thigh and leg attached)
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs gin
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground allspice
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 bay leaves

Directions:
Prick the duck skin all over with the tines of a fork, making sure to pierce all the way through the skin.
Mix the salt, gin, nutmeg, and allspice together in a small bowl. Find a baking dish that will fit the duck legs very snugly, with no room around them. For me, it was my standard 8×8” baker. Rub the duck legs all over with the salt mixture. Place the garlic halves and bay leaves on the bottom of the baking dish and lay the duck legs, flesh side down, on top of them. Make sure the garlic cloves are completely buried underneath. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
To cook the duck, wipe the duck gently with a paper towel to remove excess salt, then put the duck back in the dish, skin side up. Place the baking dish in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 300 F. Bake the duck legs for 2 ½ hours, taking them out twice during baking and basting them with any duck fat pooling around them.
To finish the duck, remove from the oven, then increase the oven temperature to 375 F and bake the duck for 15 to 20 minutes, until the skin is deeply browned and very crispy.

Steak Tartare #SundaySupper

Steak Tartare

Welcome to another Sunday Supper!! This week our theme is Year End Cravings – so what have I been craving lately? Among other things, beef tartare. Tartare is not ever going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you love it, you love it.

Steak Tartare from Bar Americain

I first sampled it in a lovely restaurant in Paris – actually, Matt ordered it and I ate off his plate like any good wife would, lol. It was a sight: coarsely ground beef mounded on a plate with a raw egg yolk nestled into a well in the top of the beef, and all the traditional mix-ins on the side (capers, cornichons, mustard, etc.)

Steak Tartare Bar Americain

As an aside, I *really* wish I’d had my camera ready to capture the look on Matt’s face when the plate arrived, seeing as at the time he wasn’t 100% sure what tartare even was.

Steak Tartare Bar Americain

This version combines the beef itself with many of the traditional tartare mix-ins, so there is less work for the diner. And what can I say other than it was one of the most delicious things I’ve eaten. Like I said earlier, I love tartare, I’ve had it many times, and this is truly one of the best versions I’ve tasted.

Steak Tartare Bar Americain

A few things to note before making it at home: you need the freshest, most high-quality beef you can find. Don’t grab something shrink-wrapped in the case, talk to the butcher and tell him or her what you’re making. Secondly, this is not a make-ahead dish, you’ll want to serve it immediately. As written, this will serve four people.

If you are a tartare lover, then you must try this recipe. Unbelievably delicious. Enjoy!

Steak Tartare #SundaySupper

And don’t forget to check out what the rest of my #SundaySupper peeps have been craving!

{Two Years Ago: Butternut Squash Latkes with Pine Nut Yogurt Sauce, Cornmeal Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Butter}

Source: ever so slightly adapted from The Bar Americain Cookbook by Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
MUSTARD SAUCE:
1 large egg yolk
2 anchovies in oil, patted dry
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 tbs whole grain mustard
2 tbs red wine vinegar
¾ cup or so olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper

TARTARE:
1 ¼ lbs. filet mignon
2 tbs Dijon mustard
3 tbs olive oil
1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 large shallot, finely diced
6 cornichons, finely diced
2 tbs brined capers, drained
3 scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and black pepper

GARLIC TOAST:
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup or so olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
4-6 (1/4-inch) slices semolina Italian bread

Directions:
First make the MUSTARD SAUCE: combine the egg yolk, anchovies, both mustards, and the vinegar in a blender and blend until smooth.
With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil, drop by drop at first, and blend until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day before serving.
To make the TARTARE: put the beef on a plate and stick it in the freezer for 15 minutes as this will make dicing the beef easier.
Whisk together the mustard and oil in a large bowl. Add the jalapeno, shallot, cornichons, and capers. Mix to combine.
Remove the meat from the freezer and cut into ¼-inch dice. Put the steak in the bowl with the jalapeno mixture, add the scallions and parsley, and fold gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the GARLIC TOASTS: preheat the broiler to HIGH. Combine the garlic and oil in a small bowl, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Brush one side of each slice of bread liberally with the garlic oil, then broil the bread until lightly golden brown on one side. If your slices are very long, cut each in half.
To assemble, spoon some steak tartare onto the toasts and drizzle mustard sauce over each one. Serve immediately.

Comfort Food Cravings

Quench Your Thirst Cravings

Seafood Cravings

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Cravings

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Pissaladiére with White Anchovies

Pissaladiere with White Anchovies 019

Concluding our week of The South, we are leaving America and traveling northeast to the south of France! I’ve personally only been to northern France, which I hope to correct at some point before I kick it. Provence and the French Riviera just sound so idyllic and romantic. And when I learned from David Lebovitz in his amazing new book that the southern French love rosé wine, it just cemented that desire for a visit even more firmly.

pissaladiere 004

I am quite the rosé wine lover, and Lebovitz tells us that in Provence, rosé is not a wine but a drink. They pour it into regular glasses over ice. As my husband said, “Oh. So it’s like… slammin’ wine!” I suppose so. Whatever you call it, I couldn’t wait to try it.

Pissaladiere with white anchovies 008

Slammin’ wine is typically enjoyed in Provence with this traditional French pizza, Pissaladiere. Pissaladiere has no cheese; it’s a flatbread topped with caramelized onions, anchovies and Niҫoise olives. For some Americans it can be an acquired taste (it was for me – the first time I tried Pissaladiere a few years ago I wasn’t a fan, but then I also think my anchovies were past their expiration date, which could have contributed), but I highly recommend acquiring it, because it’s extremely delicious. The sweetness of the onions plays beautifully against the salty anchovies and olives.

pissaladiere with white anchovies 013

That said, I took a couple of liberties. I used Italian white anchovies instead of red French anchovies, simply because I like them better (and I had some on hand from this amazing salad); and I couldn’t find Niҫoise olives, so I used Kalamatas, which are technically Greek, not French. I used a dry rosé wine, instead of a fruitier sweeter one after a very cursory Google search led me to believe, hopefully accurately, that French rosé wine tends to be on the drier side.

iced rose wine with pissaladiere 023

And whether this meal is inside or outside your culinary comfort zone, I’d highly urge everyone to give it a shot, including the wine over ice. I was thoroughly impressed by the elegance and deliciousness of the whole thing.

pissaladiere 032

{One Year Ago: Fourth of July Recipe Round-Up, Coconut Poke Cake}
{Two Years Ago: Beef Puffy Tacos}

Source: slightly adapted from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

Ingredients:
4 tbs olive oil, divided
3 lbs. onions, peeled and thinly sliced
10 sprigs of thyme
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp granulated sugar
Fresh cracked black pepper
1 lb. ball of pizza dough, at room temperature
30 pitted Niҫoise olives, or 20 Kalamata olives pitted and cut in half
16 or so good-quality, oil-packed anchovy fillets

Directions:
First, caramelize the onions. Pour 3 tbs olive oil into a large, deep Dutch oven and heat over medium. Add the onion slices, thyme, garlic, salt, and sugar. Cook, stirring frequently for 30 minutes, watching carefully to make sure your onions aren’t scorching on the bottom. If they are, lower the heat to medium-low. Cook another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden-brown. You can add more olive oil if needed. Stir in a few grinds of pepper, then pick out the thyme sprigs and the smashed garlic. Let cool.
Preheat your oven to 400 F and grease a baking sheet. Stretch the dough out into a loose rectangle on the baking sheet. If it is snapping back when you stretch it, cover it with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest 15 minutes, then try again.
Once your dough is fitted on the baking sheet, spread the caramelized onions on it in an even layer, leaving about a 1-inch border on all sides. Toss the olives on top, spacing them evenly, and then top with the anchovies. You can lay them about however, or you can decoratively crisscross them. Drizzle the whole pizza with the remaining 1 tbs of oil.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned. Remove the pizza to a cutting board and let rest a few minutes. Cut the pizza into squares or rectangles and serve warm, with plenty of slammin’ wine to go around!

Salade-aux-Lardons Pizza

Salade-aux-Lardons pizza 035

This is one of my all-time favorite pizzas. And it’s so perfect to feature on my blog, because it truly illustrates how reformed my once-picky palate has become. Growing up, pizza was always in the “special treats”, or “indulgences” category. We didn’t have it all the time, by any stretch. So as you can imagine, when it was permitted, I wasn’t about to let any veggies get anywhere near my slices! The cheesier and meatier, the better.

salade-aux-lardons pizza 003

It wasn’t until my late twenties that I started to come around and realize that oh, vegetables on a pizza isn’t some horrific crime against humanity, and that it really can be quite tasty. Not that you’ll ever hear me complaining about the meat lovers variety, but I truly have come around to genuinely appreciate different pizza toppings.

salade aux lardons pizza 015

And now, as a mature adult, salad atop a pizza is honestly one of my favorite things on earth. If only that little kid in the buffet line at Cici’s Pizza, scowling at the mere presence of the veggie supreme pizzas, could see me now…

Salade-aux-Lardons Pizza 012

So this pizza basically takes the most basic and classic of French salads, which is greens dressed with a mustard-based vinaigrette and sprinkled with crispy bacon, and deconstructs it into a pizza. Dijon mustard is spread on the dough, with Swiss cheese on top. Then crisped, bacon bits are scattered on top of the melty cheese and the greens are dressed simply with vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. When the pizza is cooked completely you take it out of the oven and toss the greens on top, then dive in immediately. (Hey, the French haven’t solved all the world’s problems – the greens will eventually wilt.)

Salade-aux-Lardons Pizza 028

And you dig in. All those French flavors come together in each bite. And it’s so delicious. I hope y’all enjoy it.

Salade-aux-lardons pizza 030

{One Year Ago: Glazed Donut Muffins}

Source: adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, Issue June/July 2010

Ingredients:
1 lb. ball of pizza dough
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
8 oz. Jarlsberg, or Swiss cheese, grated
6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium shallot, sliced thin
4 cups baby arugula, or other light greens of your choice
1 tbs white wine vinegar
3 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper

Directions:
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Oil the grate.
Roll out the pizza dough into a large rectangle that will still fit on your grill surface. Carefully transfer the dough to the hot grill and grill for about 4-5 minutes until the underside is getting some good grill marks. Carefully transfer the dough to a baking sheet, uncooked side down.
Spread the cooked side with the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle the cheese on the mustard.
Transfer the pizza back onto the grill, uncooked side down. Close the lid and cook another 5-8 minutes, until the dough is cooked through and the cheese is melted.
While the dough is grilling, make the bacon bits. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook, stirring, until bacon is crispy and the fat has rendered. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
Pour out all but 1 tbs of the bacon fat. Add the shallot to the remaining bacon fat in the skillet, over medium heat. Saute until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
When ready to serve, remove the pizza from the grill and sprinkle the bacon pieces evenly over the top. Transfer the shallots to a large bowl. Add the vinegar and olive oil, then the arugula. Toss to combine, then immediately place the salad on top of the pizza. Cut into squares and serve right away.

Veal Oscar

Veal Oscar

Happy Friday! I’m wrapping up ASPARAGUS WEEK with a doozy of a good one, y’all. This dish is elegant, beautiful and delicious. A perfect option to have in your arsenal of tricks for when your boss is coming for dinner (does that still happen, ever?), or to make something special for your significant other, or to impress a hot date. Because this one is very impressive, y’all.

Veal Oscar

veal oscar

One recipe note: this does call for making béarnaise sauce. And béarnaise sauce can be tricky to make. I scrambled the egg yolks on the first go and had to start over. The other tricky part is that once you’ve made the sauce, you have to let it sit while you make the rest of the dish, and keeping béarnaise sauce at the perfect temperature so it doesn’t break on you can be a tightrope walk. So, if your sauce isn’t cooperating 100%, I say it’s perfectly fine to use a dollop of mayonnaise or a few drops of heavy cream to help it out. I mean, come on, you’re making this meal to impress your boss or to get laid, not to take a final exam at the French Culinary Institute. In this instance, a little cheating is perfectly okay and you should not feel bad at all.

Veal oscar

Okay, now for our recap of ASPARAGUS WEEK!

First up, I began the week with an insanely delicious Shaved Asparagus Pizza. There are no words…

Shaved Asparagus Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

Then, I took a little detour from Asparagus Week by participating in the fantastic Secret Recipe Club and showed y’all a Homemade Pizza Sauce, which will forever replace the canned stuff for me.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday we got back to asparagus with a Grilled Asparagus Panzanella, which I shared over at my friend Tara’s blog, Noshing with the Nolands. It was awesome, and a perfect way to usher in some warmer weather.

Grilled Asparagus Panzanella

 

 

 

 

 

And yesterday, I became a member of the Department of Redundancy Department by sharing Shaved Asparagus and Spinach Salad, which was beyond amazing so I stand by it.

Shaved asparagus and spinach salad

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s an asparagus recipe round-up from the blogosphere! Enjoy!

Asparagus and Cheese Tart from What Megan’s Making
Asparagus, Artichoke and Shiitake Risotto from Smitten Kitchen
Baked Parmesan Asparagus “Fries” with Lemon Garlic Aioli from Simply Scratch
Caramelized Leek and Asparagus Salad from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Egg, Country Ham, Asparagus and Leek Pizza from Farm Fresh Feasts
Pesto Tortellini Salad with Asparagus from The Kitchen is my Playground
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus from Cooking on the Front Burner
Roasted Asparagus with Bacon Vinaigrette from The Texan New Yorker

Veal Oscar

{One year ago: Slow Cooker Refried Beans}

Source: adapted from Tyler Florence Family Meal by Tyler Florence

Ingredients:
BEARNAISE SAUCE:
¼ cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 large shallot, minced
¼ cup champagne vinegar
¼ cup dry white wine
3 large egg yolks
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Kosher salt and black pepper

VEAL:
8 very thick asparagus spears, bottom 2 inches removed
4 veal cutlets, about 3 oz. each
About 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 shallot, peeled and sliced into thin rings
Canola oil
Fresh tarragon leaves, for garnish

Directions:
First, make the BEARNAISE SAUCE. In a small saucepan, combine the tarragon, shallot, vinegar, and wine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until reduced by half, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Fill a medium saucepan with water and set it over medium to medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer.
Place the egg yolks into a stainless steel mixing bowl and whisk vigorously for a few seconds, until pale yellow and fluffy. Place the bowl over the pot of simmering water, making sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. While whisking continually, SLOWLY pour the melted butter into the egg yolks. Continue whisking vigorously until the sauce is smooth and emulsified, about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down on the water if necessary. Stir in the shallot mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm (turn the heat on the saucepan to low) until ready to serve. While you’re working on the veal, stir the sauce occasionally to see how it’s doing. If it’s too thick, use a little heavy cream; if it’s breaking on you, use a dollop of mayonnaise.
Now make the veal. Fill a high-sided large skillet with a few inches of water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Drop the asparagus into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the asparagus and either plunge them into a bowl of ice water, then remove once they’ve cooled, or drain them into a colander and run them under very cold water until they have cooled. Set aside.
Place each veal cutlet between 2 sheets of parchment paper (or 1 large sheet folded in half). Using the smooth side of a meat mallet to pound each cutlet to an even ¼-inch thickness. Cut each in half cross wise. Place 1 asparagus spear on each cutlet half and roll into a cigar.
Place about 1 cup flour in a shallow dish or plate and season with salt and pepper. Dredge the veal rolls in the flour by rolling them across the plate. Tap off the excess. Repeat with each asparagus spear and set them all on a plate.
Place the remaining flour in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Separate the shallot slices into rings, discarding the smallest ones. Add to the bowl of flour and toss until coated. Set aside.
Wipe out the skillet you used to blanch the asparagus, and melt the butter in it over medium-high heat. Add the veal rolls, making sure not to crowd them, and cook, turning at least once, for about 8 minutes total. Remove to a plate and set aside.
To the drippings in the skillet, add enough canola oil to make a nice film across the entire bottom of the skillet. Add the shallot rings and fry for just a couple of minutes, tossing a few times, until browned and crisp. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
Now you are ready to assemble this bad boy. Line up the veal rolls on a platter and generously spoon béarnaise sauce over them. Sprinkle some crispy shallots on top, then garnish with some torn tarragon leaves. Serve immediately, two veal rolls per person.

French Apple Tart

French Apple Tart

When you go apple picking and come home with a plethora abundance of the lovely fruit, it’s pretty much sacrilege to not make at least one pie with your stash. Last year I made a wonderful, deep-dish, double-crust apple pie. Basically the classic version. It was comforting, earthy and so delicious. I even made it again for Thanksgiving.

french apple tart, before baking

But this year I wanted something different in the realm of apple pies, and this tart seemed ideal. It was. Beautiful to look at and beautiful to eat. And while this might not have been what the French had in mind, once it’s cooled to room temperature, you can totally pick it up with your hands and eat it like an open-faced hand pie!

French apple tart, before baking

This tart is more difficult and fussy to make than your standard American apple pie. It just is. I know it’s all vogue these days to say that French food really isn’t fussy (really!), but I’m not always convinced that’s entirely accurate. This was a little fussy. You do need a ruler to measure the pie dough as you’re rolling it out. And I will HIGHLY recommend completely and thoroughly wrapping your baking sheet in foil first. I didn’t; I just lined it with parchment paper, baked the tart, and then had a hell of a time getting the crusted burnt sugar off the baking sheet later.

French Apple Tart

French apple tart

Also, I could have easily halved the amount of glaze called for, so that’s how I’ll write it; of course you can increase that amount if you wish. And I think that’s it! Enjoy this one guys, it really is a showstopper apple dessert everyone will love.

French apple tart

Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tbs sugar
12 tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks or pats
½ cup ice water

2 large apples, such as Granny Smith (you want apples that will stay sturdy when baked)
½ cup sugar
4 tbs cold unsalted butter, small-diced
¼ cup apple jelly
1 tbs brandy

Directions:
First, make the pastry crust. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk lightly to combine. Add the butter and use your pastry blender to cut in the butter until it’s the size of small peas. Add the ice water and stir together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the dough has mostly come together. Use your hands to knead in the last little bit of crumbs. Form the dough into a rectangular (as much as possible) shape and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Tightly wrap a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Then line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
Flour your rolling pin. On a floured surface, unwrap the dough and roll it out to slightly larger than 10×14 inches. With a sharp knife and a ruler, trim the edges to make a 10×14” rectangle. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet. Keep the baking sheet away from the preheating oven while you prep the apples. Stick in the refrigerator if necessary.
Peel the apples. Use a melon baller and sharp paring knife to remove the core. Thinly slice the apples across in ¼” thick slices.
Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. Sprinkle the apples with the full ½ cup of sugar and dot with the butter.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during baking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out.
When the tart is done, remove from the oven. Heat the apple jelly together with the brandy. Brush the apples and pastry edges completely with the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula and carefully slide it to a wooden cutting board. Let it cool a bit, then serve warm with vanilla ice cream or at room temperature.