I was dazzled the image of this New York Times Cooking recipe for their Rose Apple Tart and was determined to make it for Thanksgiving this year. Not only is it undeniably pretty, but also supremely and wonderfully delicious, as well as easy to assemble. I used Honeycrisp apples for their pink skins, which is one of the suggested varieties to use, and they provided the right balance of sweetness and tartness. And the crust recipe has become my new standard for how a tart should taste. I was more than happy to enjoy a piece the next day with my coffee.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cold water
4 Honeycrisp apples
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
pinch of flaky sea salt
lemon, for preserving apple color
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
For the crust, combine flour, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles peas. Finally, add the egg yolk and vanilla and pulse until just incorporated. The mixture will be crumbly but will stick together when pinched. Add water a teaspoon at a time until the dough holds together on its own.
Butter a 9-inch round tart pan and form the dough into the pan, pressing up the sides of the pan. I use a stainless steel measuring cup to help press the dough in evenly around the pan.
Freeze the dough in the pan until firm. You can make this part of the recipe well in advance and keep frozen (wrapped in airtight plastic) until you’re ready to bake.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and move the rack to the middle. Line the dough with aluminum foil, covering the edges. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. When you take it out of the oven, let it cool slightly while you prepare the apple slices.
Cut three large chunks around the apple, leaving a triangular core. Use a mandoline to slice the apples into 1/8” slices. Once sliced, sort the slices into small, medium and large pieces. To prevent browning, sprinkle a little fresh lemon juice over all the apple slices.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon sugar evenly on the bottom of the shell. Use the largest slices for around the outermost rings of the tart, gradually getting smaller as you spiral in to the center. The apples should stand on their flat edges, leaving the rounded, petal-like skin sides up. Each apple slice should overlap its neighbor by half as you work your way towards the center.
As you move towards the center, the apples will get trickier to bend so I sliced some thinly with a sharp knife for better malleability. The last slice in the center should be rolled in a circle for the center of the “rose.”
Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of flaky salt over the top of the apples. Then dot the crust evenly with the butter pieces. Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. I found that the butter melted over the edge of the tart making a mess in the oven, so a cookie sheet is highly recommended. Check on the tart periodically to ensure the edges aren’t burning. If so, cover the edges with foil.
Remove the tart when the edges are golden brown and cool on a rack while you prepare the glaze. Warm the jam in a saucepan with a teaspoon of water until runny. With a pasty brush, brush the glaze all over the apples. Serve warm or at room temperature.