Friday, September 23, 2011

Apple Tart

How autumn tastes.
My recipe box is a memory box of sorts. When I'm sorting through it for recipes, I'll come across one in my mother's hand, or one in my friend Molly's familiar script. Or I'll find a recipe I copied from someone else, and it will send my mind back to that time and place. A potluck at work, a baby shower, a dinner with friends. Holiday meals and traditions. Everyday favorites that bring back memories of simple weeknight family dinners.

Shared recipes are memory fragments that one can recreate--like conjuring an item from a photograph and rendering it into reality.

One of my favorite recipes came from my friends, Kathy and Terry. It's a fruit tart recipe that has never failed me, no matter what type of fruit I've tried. Kathy made it for K and I when we had dinner at their house one time. We had returned from a trip to England and were sharing photos and stories over a delicious meal. They are both accomplished cooks, and the tart Kathy made was memorable.

I had a handful of leftover apples from my applesauce making. I have made cherry tarts, huckleberry tarts, peach tarts, and plum tarts from this recipe. I think peach and plum are my favorite, but I haven't tried an apple tart with this recipe.

But it's a perfect fall day, and an apple dessert will spice it nicely. I'll include Kathy's recipe below. The only small change I made (because of the tartness of the apples) was to take about 1/4 cup of apple jelly, heated to melt. I added a 1/2 tsp. of vanilla to the jelly, then glazed the tops of the apples with the mixture, followed by the crumb topping.

Fruit Tart
 1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 egg yolk
2 T. milk

Mix dry ingredients. Cut butter into dry ingredients. Beat egg and milk together, and blend into flour mixture. Press into 11" tart pan with removable bottom.

Lay on approx 4 c. sliced and pitted fruit.

Sprinkle on crumb topping which is made by mixing together:
1/3 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar (or 1/3 c. brown sugar)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (nutmeg w/peaches or nectarines)
1/4 c. butter

Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes until crust is brown and fruit is tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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