Tomorrow is my hubby’s birthday and I wanted to bake him a special apple tart for dinner tonight since he’ll be on the road tomorrow. He’s not big on sweets in general and prefers traditional French treats he grew up with much more than the American style birthday cakes and cupcakes that I hold near and dear. Since he doesn’t have to eat gluten free; I also wanted a gluten free apple tart that would taste every bit as good as its gluten filled counterpart.
His parents owned a house in
called Le Gravier and one of their neighbors was a farmer who made
Calvados from the apples on their property. I wanted to
incorporate a splash of Calvados into the tart for sentimental reasons. Calvados is a very strong apple alcohol but
you can easily substitute a splash of apple cider instead. France
Gluten free pie/tart crusts have seemed an overwhelming task. Although I started baking and cooking very young and pie crusts were never my forte even with wheat based recipes. A gluten free crust, I was sure, would disappoint. But last week Elana posted a gluten free almond flour tart crust – an absolutely beautiful one at that. I used almond meal which made for a far more rustic look. While I plan to make this again just with almond flour, this crust was great as is. The tart pan I picked up this weekend was an inch larger than what was called for in her recipe so it didn’t make it all the way up the side of the tart pan but that was no problem.
An old Le Cordon Bleu cookbook gave me the outline for the tart and I tweaked it just a bit. The original recipe called for cinnamon, but one of has reactions to it so I didn’t use it and we certainly didn’t miss the flavor. Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced and drizzled with lots of lemon were placed on the unbaked tart crust.
Eggs and an extra egg yolk mixed with heavy cream, sugar and Calvados are poured over the top. The cream mixture covered the tart completely but soaked into the apples as it baked. I can’t tell you how wonderful the house smelled this afternoon.
Marie came for dinner and brought the perfect wine. She also brought some amazing gluten free chocolates that we're saving for next week! =D
We enjoyed slices with vanilla ice cream. The crust was savory and crispy. The filling was sweet but not overly so and I loved the creamy apple texture.
Chris hasn’t enjoyed a dessert so much in a very long time and came up with a list of several different fillings he’d like to try. I think we’ve found a new family favorite.
EDITED 11/21/17 to correct missing steps.
Le Gravier Apple Tart
Pre heat oven to 325 degrees
Set tart pan with removable bottom on a baking sheet with sides.
(Adapted from Elana’s Pantry)
2 cups Almond Meal
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
½ teaspoon Salt
While Elana’s recipe uses a food processor to mix the crust, I just put everything into my Kitchen Aid Stand mixer and let the paddle attachment mix things up. Pat the dough into a tart pan – either 9 or 10 inches across – mine was 10 inches. (I've made this many more times since the original post and either almond meal or almond flour work equally well. 11/17)
4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 16ths.
1 Lemon, juiced
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/3 cup Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
1 Tablespoon Calvados or Apple Cider
Prepare apples and pour lemon juice over them in a mixing bowl, continuing to mix the apple slices as you add more.
Arrange apple slices in tart crust.
In the same mixing bowl (with remaining lemon juice) combine whipping cream, sugar, eggs and Calvados well. Pour cream mixture over apple slices. I put the tart pan on a large baking sheet with edges to contain any spillover. Then I put the baking sheet on the oven rack and topped off the tart with the remaining filling. (11/17)
Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour - depending on your oven and thickness of your tart, it could be closer to an hour and fifteen.
Happy birthday to the very best husband and quite possibly the most patient man ever!