Our house has been stocked in pears and apples lately thanks to our CSA. We also had rosemary on hand after doing a fall roast dinner this weekend, which is one of my favorite herbs. My taste for rosemary (which you might recall) is thanks in large part to my parents' tradition of serving roast lamb with rosemary for Christmas dinner and I love the woodsy flavor.
My excess bundle of rosemary inspired this dish, which at its core is a simple apple tart. I used a tart dough recipe that's very similar to this one, which was rich and delicious, with a perfect buttery note and flaky texture. Divine. As per usual, I used my food processor to mix the crust, as I tend to do.
I cored, peeled and thinly sliced about a half dozen small apples and tossed them in lemon juice to prevent browning. I find coring apples and pears to be exceptionally cumbersome and I think it's because I don't have the right tool. My apple corer / slicer is not great, so if you have one you love (or even like) please send the info my way! I wanted the fruit to shine through, and thus didn't add any additional sugar or topping. After arranging the sliced apples in tight circles as best I could (a tedious task but worth the effort) I sprinkled small sprigs of rosemary over the apples and baked for about 30 minutes at 375° F.
I did spread the crust with a layer of frangipane to add sweetness and heft, which nicely balanced the savory note from the rosemary. If you don't love the flavor of almonds or need to omit due to an allergy, a fruit compote would serve this purpose well too. A great winter variation would be to make a similar tart with pears, possibly with a cranberry base.
A quick note on the crust. This was my first time attempting a tart, and I'm not thrilled with how the crust turned out. Don't get me wrong - it tasted GREAT and had a wonderful texture. I just winged the execution when it came forming the crust and didn't get that satisfying fluted edge. I think my mistake was approaching it too similarly to a pie crust, and I would build the sides a bit thicker next time. If you have any tips for tart crusts, I'm all ears! Nonetheless, this was a delicious dish and the flavors turned out just as I hoped and imagined.
And watch this space, because I'm going to have to attempt another tart this winter to work on my crust technique!