Confession: I didn’t make this tart because I was trying to clean some stuff out of the pantry. I went out and bought some crisp green apples, a new bag of blanched almonds, a jar of apricot preserves, and a bottle of brandy just to make this. Because Thanksgiving deserves special food. And this tart is amazing.
I count myself among the legions of people who think that Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year. And we’re right. Given that you get along with your family (check) and there are some decent cooks in your family (check), the only things you’re supposed to do on Thanksgiving are just enjoy and appreciate your family’s company, and eat. I’m sold.
This year, my parents and husband and I will be running a 5k together on Thursday morning—you know, so we can tell ourselves we’ve made a little more room for the turkey (one grilled one smoked) and the stuffing (I’m thankful I’m not on a low-carb diet) and the corn pudding (just as sophisticated as green bean casserole) and the cranberry sauce (confession #2, I like the jellied kind straight out of a can) and the whipped potatoes (the regular kind) and the sweet potato purée (with smoked paprika, so good) and the apple-almond tart (seriously it is exceptional).
It is worth getting a tart pan with a removable bottom (like this one) to make this tart. The bottom layer is a rich ground-almond concoction, and it’s topped with Granny Smith apples that are brushed with butter and sugar before baking and then a glaze of apricot jam and brandy after it comes out of the oven. It does take a while to put together, but it is worth every second. I’ve made it many times and have always gotten compliments on it.
Note: This recipe comes from Epicurious. I barely changed a thing.
For the crust:
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 Tbsp. brandy
- 1 1/4 c. flour
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. table salt
- 9 Tbsp. chilled butter, cut into 1/2″ chunks
- In a small bowl, whisk together the yolks and the brandy.
- Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
- With the motor running, add the egg/brandy mixture and process until it forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least an hour.
- After the dough is cold, roll it out into a 14″ circle on a floured surface. Press into an 11″ tart pan with a removable bottom; make the sides twice as thick as the bottom. Chill while making the filling.
For the filling:
- 1 1/4 c. slivered blanched almonds
- 3/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
- 2 eggs
- 3 Tbsp. brandy, divided
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1/4 tsp. table salt
- 6 Tbsp. butter, room temperature, divided
- 3 medium Granny Smith apples
- 1/4 c. apricot preserves
- In a food processor, combine the almonds, 3/4 c. sugar, eggs, 1 Tbsp. brandy, both extracts, and salt. Process until a paste forms, then add 4 Tbsp. of the butter and pulse until combined. Spread into the crust and chill for about 45 minutes.
- Peel and core the apples. Quarter them, and then cut into 1/8″ slices. Toss with 1 Tbsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. brandy, and let sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400º.
- Drain the apples and overlap them in concentric circles on top of the filling. Melt the remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and brush over the apples, then sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar.
- Bake at 400º for 15 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 350º and bake until apples are tender, about 45 more minutes.
- Gently heat the apricot preserves and the remaining Tbsp. of brandy until the preserves melt. Strain into a small bowl and brush over the tart (or just avoid the apricot chunks when brushing). Cool.
- Tart can be made 1 day ahead. Store at room temperature.