Alsace is a French wine region that borders Germany and Switzerland. This mash-up of cultures has given the region a reputation for high-quality cuisine that melds French and German influences.
In a part of the world known for classic desserts, the Alsatian Apple Tart stands above the rest with its graceful fan of apple slices enrobed in creamy vanilla custard.
Many people add a dollop of whipped cream (sweetened with powdered sugar) or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. To make the experience even more decadent, pour a glass of sweet, semi-sweet or off-dry Riesling or Gewurztraminer.
The recipe that follows yields about 8 servings.
ALSATIAN APPLE TART
For the Pastry:
* 1⅓ cups flour (plus more for dusting)
* Pinch salt
* 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (plus extra for greasing)
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1 large egg yolk
* 3 tablespoons ice water
For the Filling:
* 2 lbs. McIntosh apples, peeled and quartered
* 3 tablespoons lemon juice
* 3 large eggs
* ½ cup sugar
* ½ cup heavy cream
* ½ teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Grease a 9- or 10-inch tart pan with butter.
3. For the dough, sift flour and salt into large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles crumbs. With a fork, lightly mix in sugar, egg yolk and enough ice water to make a dough. Press into a ball; wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes.
4. After the 30 minutes, on a floured surface, roll out dough into a 12-inch circle. Line tart pan with dough and prick bottom with a fork.
5. For the filling, slice apple quarters thinly into fans, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Spread apple fans across dough, filling the bottom. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and sugar until pale and creamy, and then add cream and vanilla. Pour egg mixture over apples.
6. Bake 20 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and then bake 25 minutes more or until filling is firm.