Monday, February 08, 2010

Everything You Need, Nothing You Don't

Last week I went to a dinner and brought a nice apple tart. The brilliant, perfect crust I learned from my Grandmother, local apples, and a glaze made from apricot jam, honey, and local apple brandy were the whole thing, though I dusted it with 5-spice and a twist of black pepper before sliding it into the oven. It's really all about the crust, and secondly about not oversweetening the fruit. Thinner is better; a slice held pizza-style by the outer edge should remain perfectly flat all the way to the point, even allowing for impassioned gesticulation without any deformation. Letting the fruit taste like fruit is the other key. Rolling the pastry out thin also obviates the need for blind-baking, so there's that bonus as well. Thick, covered pies have their place, but it's not often I eat one that's much better than decent. Most of them are sickly sweet, starch-thickened disasters that make my teeth hurt while I'm eating them. A tart like this, though, is a thing of beauty, a timeless classic.

8 comments:

Peter M said...

She's a beauty.

peter said...

Thanks! Nice to see you again.

Julia said...

This is truly flipping gorgeous. This is the kind of pie I like, too, except mine aren't quite as artfully arranged. Nice work.

peter said...

I find that changing the direction of the slices with each concentric ring helps make it look fancy (though I see I didn't exactly do that on this one).

cook eat FRET said...

i would like for you to make me this one day. seriously...

peter said...

Well then you should stop blowing me off every time you come to NYC, then, shouldn't you?

Zoomie said...

*sigh* that's so lovely.

cook eat FRET said...

you are SO FULL OF SHIT

but you know that already...