Honey Crisp Apples may be my favorite thing this Fall. We eat them as afternoon snacks in the office, gawking about how THIS apple has to be the best one yet. They are crisp, sweet and tart and the perfect texture. It’s almost a crime to do anything but eat them raw. However, when sliced and layered over a pastry tart with a sweet, vanilla and bourbon almond filling, well, this is worth any potential sin.
This simple Apple Tart was my favorite thing I made this Thanksgiving. The layer of nutty almond filling sent this typical apple tart over the edge. Plus, who doesn’t love a hint of bourbon?
While this is a time consuming dessert, it’s no more complicated than a cake or pie. Save it for a winter night by the fire. Warm with whipped cream, holy moly.
Almond Bourbon Apple Tart, adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen
- 1¼ cups flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional — this is my addition. I love a little sugar in a tart shell.)
- 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, divided
- ¼ tsp. table salt
- 5 to 7 apples, peeled, cored, and halved
- ¼ cup sugar
for the frangipane:
- ½ cup almonds
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon bourbon
Making the pastry: Combine flour, sugar, 8 tbsp. butter, and salt in a food processor and pulse until pea-size crumbles form, about 10 pulses. Drizzle in 3 tbsp. ice-cold water and pulse until dough is moistened, about 3 to 4 pulses. (Do not pulse so much that the dough forms a mass. It will clump together when you form it into a disk.)
Transfer dough to a work surface and form into a flat disk; if you aren’t using it immediately, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three days. Otherwise, transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough into a 13″ circle and then transfer to a 11″ tart pan with a removable bottom; trim edges; chill for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, pulse all frangipane ingredients in a food processor until it forms a grainy paste.
Heat oven to 375º. Spread the frangipane across the bottom surface of your tart shell.
Working with one apple half at a time, thinly slice into sections, keeping slices together. Press sliced apple half gently to fan it out; repeat with remaining apple halves. Place 1 fanned apple half on outer edge of the tart dough, pointing inward; repeat with 7 more apple halves . Separate remaining apple slices. Starting where the apple halves touch and working your way in, layer apples to create a tight rose pattern. Fill in any gaps with remaining apple.
Sprinkle with sugar. Dot with remaining butter. Bake until golden brown, 60—70 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing and serving with whipped cream.