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barbara pool fenzl and apple tart

apple tart

Just about all the dishes I make for Thanksgiving are “must-haves” from my family. There can be no variations in our traditional stuffing, we must have butternut squash soup served in our individual pumpkin bowls.  There has to be pumpkin pie – plain old pumpkin pie – nothing fancy and if we do not have the jellied cranberry sauce from the can, it is not Thanksgiving!  I can make another gourmet cranberry sauce if I wish, but I’ll be the only one eating it!  And we must have this outstanding apple tart!  I’ve been making it annually for at least 12 years since it was introduced to me by Barbara Pool Fenzl of Les Gourmettes Cooking School, where I have worked for the past 21 years. It makes me feel old to say that aloud!  Old, but very proud to work with and have such an amazing, giving, and loving person, like Barb, to call my dear friend and mentor.

In addition to the fact that it comes from Barb, there are several things that make this particular apple tart so special. There is a thin layer of raspberry jam topping the bottom crust, and the gorgeous lattice top, but mostly it’s the irresistible cookie dough-like macadamia nut crust.

Because of that cookie dough texture, it may seem difficult to roll out, but don’t fret – if it rips, just piece it together or press it into the tart pan, it all melts back together and will turn out perfectly – perfectly beautiful and delicious!

tart fixings

Apple Tart with Macadamia Nut Crust

6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) of whole macadamia nuts
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon real almond extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
9 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced into about 12 wedges each
1/4 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
1 lemon, washed well, sliced thick, and seeds removed
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the macadamia nuts on a dry baking sheet. Place in oven and toast for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch them closely, they scorch easily. Remove from the oven as soon as they begin to turn brown and become fragrant. Remove from the baking sheet, or nuts will continue to cook and could scorch on the bottom. Allow to cool. When cool, place in a food processor, and using the pulse button, pulse until the nuts are finely chopped. Like all nuts, macadamia has a lot of oil and will turn to nut butter if processed too much, so be sure and use the pulse button, not the on button. Once you have chopped the nuts, divided them into 1 cup and 1/2 cup portions so you don’t accidentally use them all at once. Turn off the oven.

Crust: Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer, and add the egg and extracts. On a sheet of waxed paper combine the flours, baking powder, and only 1 cup of the nuts. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and combine well.  Flatten into a disk and wrap in the plastic wrap for 30 minutes. Roll two-thirds (2/3) of the dough into a 12 – inch circle and place into a 10-inch tart pan, pressing into the fluted sides of the pan. Freeze the tart shell for 30 minutes. Roll the remaining third (1/3) of the dough into an 11” x 11” square. Transfer to a cookie sheet or tray, cover, and refrigerate until needed. (for ease, either roll out the square with a flexible cutting board liner or use the bottom of another tart pan to transfer it to the cookie sheet).

Filling: While the crust is in the refrigerator or freezer; place the apples, water, cinnamon stick, lemon slices, and sugar in a medium pan over medium heat and cook until the apple slices are soft and the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat, discard the cinnamon stick and lemon slices, and set aside to cool.

Assembly: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Remove the tart shell from the freezer and spread the raspberry jam evenly over the bottom.  Pour the apple filling over the jam and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup macadamia nuts.  Remove the dough straight from the refrigerator and cut it into 1/2-inch wide strips with either a knife or a pastry cutter wheel.  Form a lattice pattern over the tart, trim any excess, and bake until brown, about 50 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Cut the tart into 10 pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 10

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1 barbara fenzl { 11.23.09 at 12:03 PM }

Thank you, dear Linda, for your kind words and for including my apple pie on your fabulous blog. When I count my blessings this Thanksgiving, you’ll be right at the top of the list, as you have been for 21 years!

2 Linda Hopkins { 11.23.09 at 2:13 PM }

Dear Barb, my honor and pleasure! Love you! xoxo

3 sal { 01.06.11 at 7:04 PM }

I hope this gets to you! I was watching channel 3 today and your soup was featured. I only caught the tail end of the news segment but the soup looked so yummy that I checked the web-site. and that lead me to this one!

I do have a question. You made the hominy soup today on Channel #. The recipe calls for a New Mexico Green Chile and then a dried New Mexico chile. Where can I buy these (I live in Pheonix).


4 Linda Hopkins { 01.07.11 at 9:20 AM }

Good morning Sal, You should be able to find both types of chiles at any grocery store and guaranteed to find them at any Food City in town or at Ranch Market (an amazing Hispanic store at Roosevelt and 16th Street. I let Barbara know about your comment and question and she asked me to pass this on to you. Happy New Year.

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