April 6, 2011

A Rustic Little Tart

Yes, I'm referring to an actual tart, like one with fruit in it and whatnot.

(Although, I admit, I wouldn't mind being referred to as a rustic little tart. I'd like to think I'm a little rustic and a little tarty. What a wonderful combination.)

My good friend just popped out an adorable baby girl this week and I know from personal experience that in this take-out-free town, a good meal from a friend is priceless. So, I took dinner over to the new family and for dessert was this lovely tart of a thing.

The new mama, who is a fantastic cook, is the one who first introduced me the rustic tart to begin with. This summer, she brought one to dinner at our place, all peaches and crispy, crunchy and hearty. I was in love.

Since then I've tried a few recipes (this one from Food & Wine and this one from America's Test Kitchen) and I've combined them to create the following recipe which, if I do say so myself, is pretty delicious, and impossibly simple.

Rustic Prairie Tart
1 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs all-purpose flour (I use Wheat Montana)
1/4 cup fine cornmeal
1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup cold water
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs Turbinado sugar (e.g. Sugar in the Raw)
2-3 Apples (or pears, or peaches, or mix and match. Heck! Throw some berries in there.)

In a food processor, pulse 1 1/4 cups of flour with the cornmeal and salt for a few seconds. Add the butter and process until nicely incorporated.

Slowly pour in the water until moistened.

Slap dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead two or three times.

Roll out to desired thickness.

Mix refined sugar with 1 Tbs flour and sprinkle atop the entire crust.

Line baking sheet with parchment.

Carefully transfer dough to baking sheet on top of parchment.

Fill with fruit slices, leaving at least an inch and a half on the edge. (Have fun with the design. I do.)

Fold edges over fruit.

Brush tart with butter and sprinkle with the raw sugar.

Pop in the fridge and let it chill for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400.

Bake for 45 minutes

Let cool on rack (just slide parchment off the sheet an onto rack) for a few minutes before serving.

VERY IMPORTANT: Serve with freshly whipped cream.

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