Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Queen of Tarts Tuesday

A savory tart for you today, dear readers.

Something to sidle up alongside a roasted pork loin on a new year's brunch table lit with tea candles...or pulled out of a wicker picnic basket and served on a favorite old quilt along with a roasted chicken and a thermos of squash soup in the middle of a vineyard on a sun drenched winter day.

That kind of savory tart!

Dress it up or down or serve it with a green salad and just call it lunch, I think this will please you on whatever stage you ask it to appear.

It doesn't mind not being the star of the meal. Not at all. I sense that this lovely bundle of warm apples and savory/sweet shallots snuggled into a cider cream knows it will receive attention...even as a side dish.

As for after dinner, if you're like me and you enjoy having your palate tickled with chocolate chip cookies and potato chips for that salty/sweet combo or you are simply more adventurous and like to push the envelope, then you won't mind seeing a few golden slices of shallot poking up from a bed of soft apples on a dessert plate. Hit it with a dollop of that crème fraîche that you slid into it while it was still in the pan and you've got apple pie's patient understudy making a debut on the scene! (Hold your applause...at least until after you've tasted this!)


1 pâte à tart feuilletée (tart pastry)
3 red apples (Fuji or Pink Lady)
2 golden or green apples (Granny Smith or Pippin)
2 shallots (They're a bit larger here - double this if you find the smaller sized shallots in your markets...or increase to taste.)
1 cup cider
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 425º

2. Peel and cut shallots into rounds. In a pan with hot olive oil, gently cook the shallots until soft and transluscent over a low heat - about 10 minutes.

3. Peel and dice the apples. Add to the pan with the shallots then add the cider. Let it all cook together until the liquids have been completely absorbed then add the crème fraiche. Let it cook about 2 minutes more.

4. Roll out the tart pastry and place it in a tart pan. Put the cooked apples and shallot mixture into the tart pan and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.

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