Oh my, this is good. Our Honey Girl’s dear friend from college, Vickie, wrote to me to ask if I could suggest a recipe or two to use up apples that she had picked this fall at an orchard. After a little dance of joy around the kitchen, and with a dorm kitchen and limited supplies in mind, this is the recipe I baked up for her. The tart takes all of ten minutes to mix up and requires very little kitchen equipment or finesse. Four diced apples are tossed together in a single bowl with a handful of ingredients to bind them, and there’s no crust to fuss over. The fruit is the star here, so choose tart apples with great flavor. I made the boozy sauce a week later for my book group as an accompaniment. It’s forgiving, equally simple, and seriously delicious. If you’re not up to the tart, make the sauce. And smear it straight from the refrigerator onto scones or French toast, or rewarm it gently to pour over ice cream.
Simple Apple Tart
Yield: one nine-inch tart
soft butter for the pan
½ c. sugar
½ c. whole wheat pastry flour (or substitute all purpose flour)
½ t. baking powder (skip it if you have to buy it specially)
good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
good pinch of ground cloves (optional)
good pinch of salt
1 egg (I use jumbo.)
1 T. spiced or dark rum (or substitute vanilla extract)
4 medium tart apples (such as Haralson), peeled, cored, and diced
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Generously butter a 9″ tart pan (or substitute a pie plate or cake pan).
- In a large bowl, stir together all of the ingredients except the apples. The batter will be rather unwieldy, but just give it a good stir until it all comes together.
- Add the apples and stir vigorously until the batter loosens and is distributed evenly.
- Pour the mixture into the pan and spread it out.
- Bake until golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes.
- While it bakes, make the hot buttered rum raisin sauce.
Hot Buttered Rum Raisin Sauce
Yield: enough for the tart, plus a little leftover
¼ c. spiced or dark rum
1 c. golden or Hunza raisins (or substitute dark raisins)
½ c. salted butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
- In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients except the cream.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the sugar, dissolved.
- Light the sauce aflame in the pan so that the alcohol burns off, if desired.
- Cook, stirring, until the sauce begins to caramelize and darken a bit.
- Stir in the cream and warm through. If the sauce is a bit thicker than desired, stir in an additional ¼ c. of cream.
- Serve the sauce warm. It may be kept covered in the refrigerator and rewarmed gently. Add a bit of cream if it is a bit too thick.