Sweet memories of childhood kicked in again this weekend. I bought some local apples at the farm and I knew what I wanted to make : My mom's apple cake. Perfect Sunday, with they blue sky and warm rays warming up the air.Thought I like apple pie this one has a special place in my heart.
Recipe ( for 5, 4.5(11.5cm) inch tartlet pans with removable bottom)
300 grams pastry flour(you can use all purpose also)
120 grams powdered sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
125 grams butter
2 egg yolks
zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1tbl + milk/heavy cream if needed
3tbl sugar sugar
pinch of salt
4 medium size apples
cinnamon to taste
juice of one lemon
sugar ( I didn't use any sugar as pastry dough is pretty sweet, and I like apple to be little sour, but this is really up to you, you can add a little sugar if you desire)
Preheat oven to 350F(80C)
Sift dry ingredients(flour,baking powder,powdered sugar salt), in a small bowl combine all the wet ingredients(egg yolks, vanilla, lemon zest)
To the dry ingredients add cut up butter and wet ingredients and gently break the butter with the fork and make a dough. Don't over work it, or it will be become tough.If you see that dough is still pretty dry and not coming together, add a 1tbl of milk/heavy cream. Once you have your pastry dough ready
you can line the tartlets. Spray eat tartlet pan with the nonstick spray, or brush with some butter.Divide dough in half. Roll one half to approximately 2/6 inch(3-4mm) thick. You might want to very lightly flour the surface to prevent sticking, once rolled, run a knife or a large spatula underneath the rolled dough to release it, in case it got little stuck. Now you can use a large round cookie cutter, or use the tartlet pan itself to cut our rounds from the dough. Using a metal spatula or your hands lift each round and place it inside the pans. Gently with your fingers fit the rounds in and push the dough up the sides a little and place pans on the baking sheet and into the fridge.
Prepare the Apple Filling
Peel and grate the apples, add cinnamon to taste, lemon juice, sugar if desired. If you desire you can add some raisins and chopped nuts to the filling. Taste. Remove the baking sheet with tartlet pans from the fridge and fill each tartlet with the apple filling.
Once you filled all the tartlets, now it is time to finish them off, to do that, you need to roll the remaining pastry dough and repeat cutting out the rounds like we did in the beginning.Gently place each round on the top of your apple filled tartlets. (*see picture below)
After you topped each tartlet with the pastry dough rounds, you have several choices of how to present the tartlets.
You can either brush them with egg wash and bake them plain, or you can sprinkle some chopped nuts on the top. Or you can bake them without brushing them with egg wash, when they are baked you can decorated them with whipped meringue.Choice is yours.
Bake tartlets on the baking sheet for about 30-35 minutes, until edges are lightly golden.Let them cool for 20 minutes and carefully lift each cake from the pan.
If using whipped meringue:
Beat 3 egg whites, add a pinch of salt, gradually add sugar, beat until stiff peaks are formed. Right after you removed baked apple tarts from the oven, using a pastry bag filled with a large star tip pipe large meringue stars on the top of the baked tart . Return to the oven for 5 more minutes or until tops of the meringue turn brown.Let cool before removing tart from the pan. Sprinkle powdered sugar on the top and serve.
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