Our apple CSA arrives weekly, meaning we have been eating a lot of apples out of hand, & coming up with new ways to cook & enjoy them. So far we have savored Sansas, Honey Crisps & Galas, & look forward to this week's Pinovas.
I don't know about you, but when I hear the word "rustic" attached to a recipe, my ears perk up & I imagine a hearty, stick-to-the-ribs dish that isn't fussy, but big on flavor & personality. I made this apple tart with some of the Galas we had left from last week, the succulent locally grown ginger we picked up at the farmer's market over the weekend, & some dates I had left over from a cheese plate, & decided it deserved the "rustic" moniker. Happy Autumn!
rustic gingered apple, date & nut tart
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 Tbsp chilled sweet cream butter
1/4 cup toasted walnuts & toasted almonds, ground finely
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
8 large apples, peeled, cored & sliced thinly
2 Tbsp freshly ground ginger (I suggest young ginger, which is juicier & has a more fruity taste)
dash fresh lemon juice
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup raw sugar
2 Tbsp raw honey
1/4 cup dried dates, pitted & cut into strips
prepare the crust
cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the ground nuts & cinnamon. Add the eggs, & mix until a dough is formed. Gather the dough into a ball, & place in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until you have a circle 1/8" thick, then use it to line an 8" tart tin. Prick the pastry, line it with parchment paper & baking beans, & bake at 400ºF for about 10 minutes.
prepare the filling
toss the apples with the sugar, ground ginger & lemon juice. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over low heat, then add the honey. Stir the butter & honey mixture into the apple mixture, being sure to coat all of the apples well.
assemble the tart
line the bottom of the pre-baked tart shell with the dates, then layer the apple mixture on top. Arrange the top layer of the apples, if it pleases you. Sprinkle with cinnamon & bake at 400ºF for about 30 minutes, until apples are soft & the crust edges are browned. Serve with vanilla ice cream, or fresh whipped cream.