"Never lose a chance of saying a kind word."
- William Thackeray
Wow! Can you believe it's November? I've been busy. This is a crazy time for me. I've been listing items in my Etsy shop to get ready for Christmas, I always have a big crowd for Thanksgiving, and then my birthday is in December!
|Mix together butter and powdered sugar|
Before I started my shop, my only "job" was this blog, taking care of the house, and our (very small) farm, taking care of the dogs and my husband. Last year I had lots of time to think about my Thanksgiving menu, invite guests, figure out the table seating and everything that goes with having lots of people over for dinner. This year it will be much less "produced." I have to get used to this busier life I have now, and still figure out how to clean the house!
|Then add flour and mix until the dough comes together|
But you know, that's not what Thanksgiving is about anyway. It's about being thankful for what we have. Thankful to have friends over and food to enjoy. In the midst of hurricane Sandy, it's easy to be grateful for what I have. I am so sorry if the storm has affected you, my heart really goes out to you. I watch the news and have inspiration and hope when I hear the stories of nurses caring for babies with no power, and people with power opening up their homes to strangers. And then I have sadness and tears for the stories with a not so happy ending.
That's what I'm going to focus on this Thanksgiving, really being thankful. Thankful for everything that I have and being sincerely thankful for my friends and family.
|Dough just coming together|
Speaking of family, this apple tart recipe is close to my heart. My mother used to make this apple tart for my father. He loved it, and still does.
|Press the dough out with your hands to make a free form crust|
It reminds me of my mother since she's the one who first made it. (My sister told me she thinks she got it from a Sunset magazine.) It really reminds me of my dad, since he loves it. (He loves all fruit desserts, pies, tarts, cobbler etc.) And it reminds me of my sister since she makes it for her family. One of her sons, my nephew, Max, calls it one of his favorites.
|Core the apples then slice them, peeled or not, your choice|
It's one of those great timeless recipes. It's easy and super delicious. Apples are the only ingredient I don't always have on hand. It's a recipe made with little effort, but delivers a big payoff.
The crust is tender, buttery and flaky, sort of like shortbread. It melts in your mouth. You can make it with a tart pan or free form. I make it free form just so I don't have to reach in the cupboard to find a pan.
|Layer on the sliced apples|
The topping is sweet, with brown sugar and cinnamon. The apples are tart. I use Granny Smith most of the time. You can peel the apples or not. Here I didn't. This gives it a little more texture you may or may not, like.
This is really one of my favorite desserts of all time. It's so quick and easy to put together, it's a recipe I have in my back pocket to throw together if I have unexpected guests, since it is loved by all.
|Sprinkle on a mixture of brown sugar, flour and cinnamon|
This time of the year it's perfect for entertaining. Apples are in season, and it just has those great fall flavors. It's definitely a great Thanksgiving dessert.
|Drizzle on the melted butter|
|Right out of the oven|
From my family to yours, I hope you enjoy this tart as much as we do! May it nourish your family and friends and bring them as much joy as it has brought us.
Queen Anne Dessert Plate, Pink napkins, Antique Mignon ZS & Co. teapot and sugar bowl available at my Etsy shop, House of Lucien
2-3 large apples - I use Granny Smith, peeled or not
1/2 cup (one stick)(114 g.) butter, softened, salted or unsalted
1/4 cup (24 g.) unsifted powdered sugar
1 1/4 cup (175 g.) flour
1/3 cup (74 g.) firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (72 g.) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 Tablespoons melted butter
a few pinches of salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, 200 degrees Celsius, Gas Mark 6.
Start by making the pastry. Cream butter with powdered sugar until fluffy in a large bowl. (I use a hand mixer for this.) Then mix in 1 cup of the flour and a pinch of salt (still using hand mixer) to make a soft dough. When the dough comes together (it will first be crumbly) mix dough with hands until you can shape it into a ball. Using fingertips, press dough into a 9 inch tart pan, or flat on a foil, parchment paper lined or Silpat lined, cookie sheet, to make a free form tart. When I do this, I measure it to make sure it's around 9 inches, that way I know it will be the correct size and probably the correct thickness.
Core and slice the apples, (start with 2). Arrange overlapping on top of dough. If you need another apple, then slice it and add it. In a medium bowl stir together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and remaining 1/4 cup flour, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle over apples. Drizzle melted butter over all. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven. Let cool a bit before serving. It's best served warm. It's good plain or with vanilla ice cream.