Apple Tart with Pecan Shortbread

Apple Tart with Pecan Shortbread Crust

pecan shortbread crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered or confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • Tart pan, with a removable bottom

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar and salt.  Scatter the cold butter pieces over the flour, and using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until you have coarse crumbs (about 1-2 minutes).  Add the egg yolk, a little at a time, stirring into the flour and butter with your fingers.  Working quickly, work the dough with your fingers to incorporate the moisture into the flour.  (The dough will appear very dry, and you might think it doesn't have enough liquid, but don't worry, it will come together.)  After 2-3 minutes of working the dough, it should start to hold together enough so that you can gather it into a ball.  During the last minute of working the dough, sprinkle in the pecans.

Grease your tart pan very thoroughly with butter or cooking spray.  Take half the dough and press evenly into the bottom of the tart pan, all the way to the edges.  Take the other half of the dough, and press evenly around the sides of the pan.  Freeze crust in pan for 30 minutes while you prepare the apples.

apple filling:

  • 4 apples, cored and thinly sliced 1/8 inch thick (I used 2 Granny Smith and 2 Honey Crisp)
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, diced
  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon water

Preheat the oven to 400.  Place the apple slices in a large bowl and toss with the orange juice and zest.  In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; sprinkle over apples and toss to coat each slice.

Begin arranging the apple slices in the tart shell, starting at the edge and working towards the middle.  After filling the bottom with a layer of apples, build another layer right on top, continuing until all the apple slices are used up and the tart shell is full.  Dot the apples with the diced butter.

Place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes, covering the edge with a pie shield after 30 minutes, if needed, to prevent the crust from over-browning. Remove the tart from the oven and set on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, combine the orange marmalade and water.  Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds, them pour through a mesh strainer.  Using a pastry brush, brush the syrup (not the solid bits) over the warm apples.  Let cool completely, then serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Yields 8 servings.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen