Autumn has started here in Australia. Even though we live up north and it’s pretty warm all year around (we’re upside down so think of Florida where Maine is), it’s getting dark early. Queensland, the state I live in, doesn’t have daylight savings time. Yes, that’s correct, it’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of. So here it is, barely the end of summer and it gets dark at 6pm. I hate it but that’s an argument for another today. Today we’re talking apples.
I love apple pies, apple tarts, apple crumbles — apple just about anything. My in-laws visited and we were having a relaxing weekend, not doing much of anything. My mother-in-law was reading her book and I’d just finished cleaning up the place a bit.
During a break in her book reading, she suggested that we make an Aussie Apple Tart. See what I said above about loving everything apple – I was IN. She decided that she would tell me how to make the tart and I’d do all the work. She IS the mother-in-law. Nuff said. She knows I’m a pretty good cook but she also knows most of the food I make comes from my roots in the US. She wants me to keep her recipes alive.
We started by making some apple sauce and while it was cooling, we (read that I) made the pastry. I suspect she thought her pastry was best but she allowed me to make my stand-by recipe. While that was chilling we peeled and sliced the apples. She did the heavy onlooking and the big advice giving. “If you slice the apples too thickly, they won’t cook all the way through before turning brown.” Check.. make slices thinner.
My mother-in-law is the cutest old lady you’ve ever met. She’s the size of a number 2 pencil and just about as tall but she’s never lost her perky, sexy personality. I love both “the olds” to bits. They live in Victoria in the southern part of Australia. We’d like them to move up here but they think it’s too hot where we are. It gets much hotter there in the summer (and dryer) and much much colder in the winter.
Anyway, about this tart. Aussie apple tarts are made by smoothing spiced apple sauce over the bottom of the tart quite thickly. Joan couldn’t believe I’d never made a tart by putting applesauce in the bottom. Over the sauce, you place the apples sliced very thinly in a lovely pattern on top of the apple sauce. Make sure you place the apples neatly because if you don’t, my mother-in-law will move them for you.
This is my standard pastry recipe that makes enough dough for two tarts. If you have a pastry recipe you like, it will work just fine for this tart. Once you have all the apples overlapped perfectly (mine weren’t) place it in the oven until the edges of the apples start to caramelize and the apples are soft.
While it’s baking, heat up the apricot preserves because when the tart comes out of the oven you’ll brush the top of the tart with the preserves. It will sweeten the apples and leave a beautiful glaze on the tart. Enjoy!
- 2½ cups (12½ oz. or 355 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbs sugar
- 6 oz (170 grams) of cold butter cut into small pieces
- ½ cup (104 grams) of shortening
- ¼ cup cold vodka
- ¼ cup very cold water
- 2 cups apple sauce (needs to be sweet and tastes really good with a bit of cinnamon)
- 2 apples sliced thinly
- 1 tbs demerara sugar
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- ½ cup apricot preserves heated
- In a food processor, combine 1½ cups of flour, salt and sugar and process in 2 one-second pulses.
- Add the butter and shortening and process until the dough starts to form uneven clumps. This takes about 15 seconds and will look like cottage cheese and there is no visible flour.
- Scrape the bowl and distribute the dough evenly around the blade.
- Add the remaining cup of flour and pulse until the mixture is evenly distributed. Only 4 to 6 quick pulses.
- Dump the mixture into a bowl and sprinkle the vodka and water over the mixture.
- Important: Use a rubber spatula and fold and press until the dough sticks together.
- Divide the dough into two and form two flat disks. Wrap and place in the fridge for 30-45 minutes (or up to 2 days)
- Pre-heat oven to 400F or 200C.
- Roll out the dough and place in a tart pan with a removable bottom (you can use anything you want but this pan makes placing the tart on the plate really easy)
- Prick the bottom and place in refrigerator to chill.
- Peel and cut the apples in half and remove the core.
- Slice thinly and toss with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
- Retrieve the tart crust and smooth the applesauce over the bottom.
- Lay the apple slices in a nice pattern on top of the apple sauce.
- Sprinkle with demerara sugar and place in the oven. Reduce the heat to 375F or 190C and bake until golden brown. My oven took about 40 minutes.
- Brush the apples with the heated apricot preserves.
I JUST threw an apple crisp in the oven! I too am an apple lover. This tart looks so beautiful! I imagine it tastes just as good. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
We don’t have daylight saving in WA either, but I get up at 5.45am on week days so don’t mind too much :p I’m more unhappy with our unseasonal start to Autumn – strings of 38’C days are not Autumnal!
At least this pie looks great, weather and light aside 🙂
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
The flower pattern on top is gorgeous! And I must confess that I’ve never made an apple tart with applesauce at the bottom but I should give this a go! 😀
Hotly Spiced says
What a gorgeous looking apple pie. I love how you decorated it. Perfect looking pastry too. I think Queenslanders should have daylight saving too. xx
I live in states. Winter is hard on me because there is so little daylight. I suffer from S.A.D. This morning we will switch over to Daylight Savings Time….he happiest day of the year for me.
This apple tart is art. So beautiful. Would love to dig into it.
Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious says
I love simple but delicious dessert like this. Yours looks beautiful too! 🙂
Parsley Sage says
GORGEOUS! The little flowers are simply amazing 🙂 What a lovely tart!
We don’t do daylight savings either…and while it does get early better my low-maintenance ways kind of loves never having to change my clocks 🙂
I really love apple-y desserts and this tart sounds absolutely delicious! I love the apples arranged on top.
Norma Chang says
Today we start day light saving, I lost one hour of sleep.
Your apple pie is gorgeous. Apple sauce at the bottom is new to me. Learned something new.
It almost looks too good to eat, but I would still have to cut into it.
This looks amazing!!!!
What a very pretty tart. Love all the fun designs you made with the dough on top.
What a beautiful cake! it looks delicious with that glossy apricot jelly layer!
That looks like a Tart Aux Pommes:-) I am loving the Aussie Apple Tart, it is gorgeous!!! What a beautiful treat to make for your family, they are pretty lucky:-) I agree, give me any apple dessert and I may do a happy dance, YUM-O! Beautiful! Hugs, Terra
Maureen….it’s so wild to read that fall is starting for you, though spring is here for me! But this tart is so absolutely stunning….I’m certain I could eat it all year round! Just gorgeous! : )
EA-The Spicy RD says
I’m trying to picture a pencil sized mother-in-law-lol! This is such a pretty tart, and love the spicy applesauce on the bottom!
the tart looks so big in size. oh i can taste the goodness already
Gorgeous! That is hilarious about your MIL. I can just see it…moving apple slices and commenting on the thickness. We used to not have day light savings in Indiana but finally they changed it a few years ago. Hopefully they do for you too!
Dieter Moitzi says
That sure looks yummy! I made an apple cake this weekend, too, and believe me, it was delicious but much less photogenic than yours!
Great recipe (and that Cook’s Illustrated dough recipe – with the vodka – really works). I always cut my apple slices too thick! I need someone to peer over my shoulder and urge me to cut them properly. Really nice light on the top picture. Good post – thanks.
Kitchen Belleicious says
that tart could not look any more gorgeous and simply stunning! I wish I had a slice right now! Wait- who am I kidding- i wish i had the whole dang pie!
Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) says
wow, this looks absolutely beautiful!
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
I’m with you – I love anything with apple, and apple pie has been my #1 favorite among all the pies. My mom used to make the apple pie but she uses the cross design on top (sorry I am not a baker and don’t know the proper name) but I really love your design! SO pretty… It’s like rose! I’d love to serve this kind of pie when we have guests. 🙂
Soooo gorgeous, Maureen! I love apple tarts and this sounds amazing!
Kitchen Butterfly says
That is a gorgeous looking tart…..love the ‘rose’ of apples, yum!
Just visiting your website. Am not much of a cook myself, but love looking at others’ masterpieces!
Reem | Simply Reem says
This really looks gorgeous…
I have to so try this recipe, my kids adore apple…
I love how beautifully the slices of apples are arranged.
Agreed, I hate the fact that there is no daylight saving in Qld…
oooh Miss Mauz these look absolutely DIVINE – you are such a neat cook – your photos and dishes look perfectly delicious – I don;t know HOW you do THAT?
Hey Kylie, thanks a lot. I watched your tomato sauce video and Madame, you have nothing on me at all. Imagine being able to cook, talk and video at the same time. I have trouble hopping on one foot. 🙂
Dee at Deelicious Sweets says
I loved this post! So funny! This apple tart looks amazing. I have never put applesauce on the bottom of my tart’s either. I can’t wait to try this. I’m hoping I cut and place my apples just right though. I’m a little intimidated 😉
Jill Colonna says
Loving your decor on such a beautiful tart. Love apples too. Had no idea about Queensland dark at night so early. Jings. Your mother-in-law sounds so clued in online. She must be so proud seeing your blog, then!
Sofie Dittmann @thegermanfoodie says
I HATE daylight savings time, but that’s also an argument for another day… LOL I just printed this recipe, it looks SO good!
Russell at Chasing Delicious says
This apple tart looks soo good! The top is gorgeous. Yum!
Choc Chip Uru says
I am slobbering on my keyboard because of you – this looks too tasty 😀
Choc Chip Uru
Latest: Rich Sticky Date Pudding w/ Butterscotch Sauce
That’s one lovely looking tart! I love daylight saving time in Autumn and hate it in Spring, which will be in probably a few weeks here, and I’ll loose my precious hour of sleep! (there is nothing fun about getting up at 5am..)
Maureen, this is just stunning! I love apple desserts and yours looks beautiful as well as delicious!
Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmet says
Hi Maureen, What a great recipe! I love apples and love pies and your lovely tart looks deliciously good. Perfect way to start autumn 🙂
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
I’ve never tried slathering the sauce at the bottom. That looks amazingly drool-worthy, Maureen 🙂
Sanjeeta KK says
Love the swirls of apples and those cute little flowers! Lovely.
Sawsan@chef in disguise says
I love apples too but have never used apple sauce in an apple tart before
I love the double dose of apple in this and the pattern on top is so cute.
We are seeing the first signs of spring here. It is confusing sometimes to think you guys have Fall now
I LOVE daylight savings time, but since I’m dating a guy who lives in your beautiful state, the one hour time difference CAN be a bit of a drainer when it comes to phone calls at night and whatnot. Therefore, in a way I’m kinda glad that daylight saving in VIC and NSW is almost over!
Mikaela Cowles says
Confession, I have a notebook where full of sentences I absolutely love. I read them when I need inspiration, sometimes when I’m lonely for a writer to talk to or just when I want a small bite of something wonderful. You’be been added: “She did the heavy onlooking and the big advice giving.” I LOVE THIS!
Oh, I also like the recipe 😉 Thanks for sharing.
LOL Mikaela you crack me up. If you met my mother-in-law you’d understand the heavy onlooking. 🙂
Dear Maureen, What a beautiful tart!! Blessings my dear, Catherine xo
The flower pattern on your tart took my breath away. Fabulous!
Beautiful! I have been craving apple tart and this looks like one I should try!
5 Star Foodie says
What a gorgeous apple tart, I love the flower pattern on top!
Hi, I’m glad that I come to visit your blog! Like how you presented this apple tart! The idea is taken now,haha!
Gorgeous apple tart. The decorations are so eye-catching. I’ve decided it’s time to make an apple pie … all I have to do is pick a recipe. 🙂