In 1996, I was surprised and honored to receive a call that Julia Child was interested in featuring me in an episode of Baking with Julia, a show that would later go on to win an Emmy Award and a James Beard Award. I flew out to Boston and made this lovely Normandy Apple Tart in the kitchen of Julia Child’s imposing Cambridge clapboard house. This tart is a free-form variation of what I made for the show. It’s chock-full of sliced apples, brandied currants, and topped with a creamy custard that you add in the final 20 minutes of baking.
Printable pdf of the recipe here.
Makes one 10-inch tart
3 Tbsp dried currants
4 Tbsp brandy, divided
1 disk Macrina Flaky Pie Dough, thawed but chilled
3 Granny Smith apples
¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs, divided
¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
Line a rimmed baking sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, soak the currants in 2 Tbsp of brandy for 10 minutes.
On a floured work surface, roll out the pie dough to a 14-inch x ⅛-inch circle. Trim any excess. Gently fold the dough in half and lift it onto the prepared baking sheet. Unfold the dough and center it on the sheet pan. Some dough will cascade over the edge of the pan.
Peel and core the apples. Cut the apples into ¼-inch slices and place them in a medium bowl. Add ½ cup sugar, cinnamon and the brandied currants. Toss to evenly coat the apples.
Place the apple mixture in the center of the rolled pastry dough. Spread it out to create a 10-inch mound.
Make an egg wash by thoroughly mixing 1 egg and 1 Tbsp of water in a small bowl.
Begin folding the uncovered dough (approximately a 2-inch rim) onto the apples to create a free-form tart. As you make each fold, brush the top with the egg wash to seal any overlap. When you’ve finished folding over the excess dough, give the top dough another brush of egg wash for even baking.
Refrigerate the formed tart for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
In a food processor, add the remaining 2 Tbsp brandy, ¼ cup sugar, egg and flour. Mix for 1 to 2 minutes to combine well. Pour the custard into a smaller container to add to the tart later.
Bake the chilled tart for 25 minutes or until you see the crust and apples beginning to color. Remove the tart from the oven and pour as much custard as possible over the apples in the center of the tart. Use a knife or spatula to gently nudge the apples to let the custard settle.
Return the tart to the oven and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the custard is set.
Let cool for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm. Enjoy!