I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was full of family, food and relaxation, which in my book makes it about the best holiday you could have. Since we've been a little busy, what with having a newborn and all, my mother in law offered to cook this year. Our families gathered together over turkey, wine and applesauce.
|Baby's first Thanksgiving - he was even sleeping excitedly.|
It is a tradition in my husband's family that they have homemade applesauce for every family dinner. Bob's grandmother would make a huge batch of it a few times a year and freeze it, so it was always available whenever the family would eat together. Since she passed away in 2009, there has been a void where homemade applesauce once was. My mother in law, now that she's the grandmother, has taken it upon herself to learn the secret applesauce recipe. This recipe apparently requires a particular kind of apple, which she was able to order online. And, since apparently it's cheaper to buy said apples in bulk, I now have a giant bag of apples sitting here staring at me.
Lots and lots of apples. A plethora of apples.
So my latest challenge is to use all of the apples. For Thanksgiving, I wanted to do something rustic and simple, but different from the usual apple pie. We have family members who are experimenting with a gluten free diet, so after scouring my cookbooks and the internet, I settled on this Free-Form Apple Tart from this year's Food and Wine Cookbook. I subbed out the flour for rice flour and added some spices to the apple mixture. I'd never worked with gluten free flour before, but this tart turned out to be very good - like traditional apple pie, but without all the fussiness of a pie that can sometimes hide the apples. Here the apples were the stars of the show, with the crust as a necessary afterthought. Delicious, especially with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream.
So, dear readers, what are your favorite apple treats? Help me use up all this fruit!!
Gluten Free Apple Tart
(adapted from Food & Wine 2011)
2-1/2 cups rice or tapioca flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup cold water
1 egg white
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 Jonagold or Northern Spy apples, peeled and sliced thin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons rice or tapioca flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Time and temperature: 400 degrees for 50 minutes
For the crust: Combine the flour, sugar and salt in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix until the the butter is the size of corn kernels. Gradually mix in 1/4 cup of the water, then add the remaining water by the tablespoon until the dough is moistened. Scrape the dough with your hands onto a floured surface and knead 2-3 times until it forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Peel, core and slice the apples; spritz with the lemon juice. Mix the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, flour and sugars with the apples until coated. Set aside. Roll out the dough on a piece of parchment paper into a 16 inch circle and trim the edges neatly. Arrange the apple slices in the middle (I made circles with mine). Fold the edges of the crust over the apples 2-3 inches on the sides. Brush with the beaten egg white and sprinkle of the turbinado sugar. Bake at 400 for 50-55 minutes, until crust is golden and apples are tender. Serve warm.